Summer is the time to make big pots of ratatouille, when the veggies are fresh from the vines. I visited our cute little farmer's market on Friday night and picked up some tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, and eggplant--all of which are used in ratatouille. If you don't know what ratatouille is, I describe it as an Italian vegetable stew. Here's the recipe I use to make it:
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more as needed
- 1 1/2 cups small diced yellow onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 cups medium diced eggplant, skin on
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 cup diced green bell peppers
- 1 cup diced red bell peppers
- 1 cup diced zucchini squash
- 1 cup diced yellow squash
- 1 1/2 cups peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Set a large 12-inch saute pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the onions andgarlic to the pan. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they are wilted and lightly caramelized, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the eggplant and thyme to the pan and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is partially cooked, about 5 minutes. Add the green and red peppers,zucchini, and squash and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, basil, parsley, and salt and pepper, to taste, and cook for a final 5 minutes. Stir well to blend and serve either hot or at room temperature.
I hope you try ratatouille one day. It's delicious and full of nutrients to counteract all of the junk we usually call food.
On a different note, I was reading an article where a woman was threatened with fines and a possible jail term for growing a vegetable garden in her front yard. That's an extreme reaction from the city. I don't why she decided that her front yard was the best place for her vegetable garden (instead of the back or side yards). But, to serve jail time for this choice seems rather heavy handed. What do you think?