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Using summer’s bounty: Ratatouille. July 23, 2011

Posted by ourfriendben in gardening, recipes.
Tags: , , ,

Silence Dogood here. The heat and drought may want to make you laugh at the concept of garden bounty, but at the grocery stores and farmers’ markets, local produce is pouring in in the form of eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, garlic, onions, and basil with other fresh herbs. Yum! So how do you make the most of this windfall while minimizing premium real estate in the form of refrigerator space? Let’s make ratatouille!

Ratatouille is a sort of vegetable stew, sauce, or salsa that uses all these ingredients in a very savory, delicious way. It’s yummy hot, as a topping for pasta (add a little grated or shredded Parmesan in this case) or an accompaniment for rice. It’s delicious served at room temperature as a sort of tapenade with slices of crusty baguette. And it’s good cold as a salsa with tortilla chips.

The ratatouille I made (while it was still cool enough to cook anything, yow) was perhaps less chunky than a typical version. But I wasn’t looking for chunks, just a yummy topping for rice. Here’s what I did:

3 small or 1 standard eggplant, roughly chopped (I prefer an assortment of long, thin oriental types)

2 small zucchini, sliced, then diced

3 medium tomatoes, chopped

1 large sweet onion (Vidalia, Walla Walla, Candy, or 1015 type), diced

6 cloves of garlic, roasted and minced

1 large bunch fresh basil, chopped 

extra-virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

thyme, oregano, crushed red pepper, and rosemary to taste

Saute the minced roasted garlic, onion, tomatoes, and eggplant in the olive oil with the basil, herbs and spices. Add the zucchini. When everything has completely cooked down, add the balsamic vinegar. Serve and enjoy!