Showing posts with label ratatouille. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ratatouille. Show all posts

Saturday, August 29, 2015

#Recipe for Ratatouille from @PegCochran

By some good fortune, I came into possesion of a pack of Campari tomatoes (the ones that are between cherry tomatoes and regular ones in size) and a pack of those small, sweet colorful peppers.  What to make?  I decided on ratatouille which is a sort of French vegetable stew.  I added a zucchini, eggplant and red onion to the mix.

If you have an abundance of ripe tomatoes, and other jewels from your garden, this is a great way to use them.  It's easy and delicious and goes well with any kind of barbecued meat.

I didn't really use a recipe for this--just the memory of making it from Julia Child's recipe.  I don't have exact quantities either, but that's great right?  You can add more or less of your favorite veggies or the ones you have on hand.

I like to salt my eggplant to get out some of the bitter juice--simply cut into cubes, salt liberally and let it stand in a strainer while you prepare the rest of the vegetables (be sure to rinse the salt off and dry the cubes before using.) 

My lovely peppers and tomatoes

Slice your peppers and cut up your other veggies

Warm some oil in a sturdy pan--a Dutch oven works well--and add some chopped garlic and a tablespoon of herbes de provence and saute until colored.  Herbes de provence is a mixture of thyme, marjoram, rosemary, savory and optional dried lavender.

Add the rest of your vegetables and give it a good stir

Cover and simmer until vegetables have softened. If there is too much liquid, uncover and simmer a little longer.


When Monica Albertson comes to Cranberry Cove—a charming town on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan—to help her half-brother Jeff on his cranberry farm, the last thing she expects to harvest is a dead body.

It seems that Sam Culbert, who ran the farm while Jeff was deployed overseas, had some juicy secrets that soon prove fatal, and Jeff is ripe for the picking as a prime suspect. Forming an uneasy alliance with her high-maintenance stepmother, Monica has her hands full trying to save the farm while searching for a killer. Culbert made plenty of enemies in the quaint small town…but which one was desperate enough to kill?


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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Rustic Ratatouille

A few years ago, I was introduced to the idea of an earthbox.  You can see one here.  The idea is great (especially for dry/hot climates such as ours).  The reservoir in the bottom holds the water so the plants can suck up what they need from the roots AND you reduce evaporation.  Brilliant.

Problem is, they're expensive, and I'm cheap.  So I managed to use a big Rubbermaid tub, a small rotary saw, and a plastic colander to cobble up some homemade ones.  We've had lush and abundant herbs every summer since (despite our benign neglect).  This year in particular our basil has gone nuts.  As I type, it is the 5th of December and we STILL have fresh basil by the handful.  Unreal.

In any event, I've spent a lot of time over the last few months trying to find new and exciting ways to use fresh basil.  Ratatouille is not exactly new, but my version is slightly inauthentic ... but still delicious.  The potatoes make it hearty, but it's still quite healthy (especially important during the season of rich food).  Oh, and it's also crazy easy.  A little chopping, open a couple of cans ... voila, you have a beautiful dinner.  So one of these hectic holiday evenings, whip up a batch of this ratatouille and serve with a simple salad and a loaf of crusty bread.  And maybe a bottle of pinot noir.

Rustic Ratatouille

2 zucchini (about 1/2 a pound), cut in 1-inch pieces
1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
small yellow potatoes (about 1 pound), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 Tbs. fresh rosemary
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. salt (divided)
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 Tbs. olive oil (divided)
cooking spray
1 can whole tomatoes, chopped and juice reserved
1 Tbs. chopped garlic
1/2 an onion, chopped
2 Tbs. tomato paste
2 cans chick peas (drained and rinsed)
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. chopped fresh basil

Heat oven to 450.  In a bowl, toss zucchini, eggplant, potatoes, rosemary, thyme, black pepper, 1 Tbs. olive oil, 2 Tbs. water, and 1/2 tsp. salt.  Spread on baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray, place in the oven, and roast about 25 minutes.  I found I *just* had time to chop the veg while the oven preheated.  (You can roast the veg before moving on to the next part.)

In a large pot, saute onions and garlic in remaining olive oil; cook until onions are soft.  Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, three more minutes.  Add tomatoes, chickpeas, and remaining salt.  Add roasted vegetables.  Stir in vinegar.  If the veg has cooled, make sure you keep the ratatouille on medium low until the whole stew is heated through.

Serve with a hearty bread, and you have one delicious winter meal.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Let's all Veg Out Part 2

Last week I talked about grilled veggies prepared via indirect heat (or even, in a pinch, roasted in the oven). Today I'm taking a more direct approach.

While last week's recipe was one I've used many, many times, today's is brand new for me. This dish is not only easy and delicious, it can be served as a main entree if you're looking to veggie up your diet.

Adapting a recipe from MORE (can you tell I love that magazine?), here is a version of ratatouille, prepared on the grill. Yep, you read that right.

Grilled Veggie Ratatouille

1 red bell pepper
1 green pepper
2 medium to large yellow onions, cut into thick slices
2 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
2 yellow squash, cut in half lengthwise
5 plum tomatoes
handful of fresh basil leaves
extra-virgin olive oil

First off - I felt like Krista's Diva when I made this. The original recipe called for fresh thyme leaves. My grocery store was out, so I planned to use a little dried thyme at home. Guess what? I had run out!! (The Diva Runs out of Thyme). So I did without. You may want to add it back in...

I was cooking on a gas grill, so adjusting the heat was easy. Here goes:

I oiled the grates with a paper towel soaked in vegetable oil and that paid huge dividends. Don't miss this step. Nothing stuck!

Once your grill is heated, place the whole peppers on the grates and roast them, turning often, until they're charred all the way around. Put them aside to cool.

Brush your other vegetables with olive oil, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, and grill them all -- until the onions are translucent and the zucchini and squash are slightly charred. Grill tomatoes until soft and bursting.

When the grilling is finished, cut all the veggies into half-inch pieces and toss with basil leaves. The original recipe suggested adding balsamic vinegar and we might try that next time, but we wanted to taste them plain this time. And they were wonderful. Grilling just adds such a wonderful flavor to vegetables. Plus it makes clean up a breeze. This version of ratatouille is one we'll come back to over and over again.