Ratatouille

Like many people, I used to struggle with what to do with eggplant. But over the years of growing it, I have quite a list of favorite recipes. While ratatouille contains many other bounties of the summer garden, my version strongly features eggplant. And it’s easier than some methods I’ve seen!

ratatoullie3

Eggplant is in full swing in the garden right now. Even though we only have about 40 feet of it planted, we are harvesting a lot¬†every day. So it’s ratatouille time! Each summer I make pots and pots and freeze it for the winter. And of course eat a ton. While I do have a specific recipe, I tend to change amounts to match whatever we have on hand at the time. The recipe is quite forgiving!

Ratatouille

serves 4

1 lb eggplant
1/4 cup olive oil
1 red onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and diced
1 tbsp thyme, chopped
1 tbsp oregano, chopped
1/4 cup vegetable stock
Salt to taste
2 tbsp parsley, chopped

I use any eggplant for the recipe. I might peel big globe eggplants if they have been sitting in the fridge a bit too long. Slender Asian eggplants usually have tender enough skin to not bother. Dice the eggplant to about 1/2″, place in a colander and salt. Putting a plate with a weight on top helps as well. Let drain for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the ingredients. Our sweet pepper plants are being sooo slow this year, so I grabbed a bag of chopped and frozen ones from last year. Heat the oil in a large skillet and saute the onions until soft and fragrant, 5-10 minutes. Add the peppers and cook for another 5 minutes. In the beginning, the dish is very bright and colorful!

ratatoullie2

While the onions and peppers cook, rinse the eggplant and let drain.

Add the eggplant, garlic, tomatoes, thyme, oregano and stock. Sometimes I don’t have enough thyme. I’ll sub basil, marjoram or even a little rosemary. Just use 2 tbsp total of herbs. Also, if the tomatoes are extra juicy (heirloom ones usually are), I’ll leave out the stock and just add salt.

ratatoullie1

Bring the mix to a simmer, turn down and cook for 30 minutes, until everything is tender and the flavors are melded. Season with salt to taste and serve with parsley sprinkled on top.

So…what to eat this with?! We love it on top of pasta or rice, with some sharp cheese added. Or just as a side dish. Or even cold the next day. I’ll put it through the food processor to chop fine and it is as a spread on crackers, or crusty bread.

rataouille4

 


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *