Summer Garden Ratatouille

Summer Garden RatatouilleWe had a luscious, wet and wonderful summer here in Colorado.  Between my summer CSA and the bounty of the local farmer’s markets fabulous fresh produce abounds!  Warm ratatouille is comforting on a cold winter night, but it is never so flavorful as it is during peak summer vegetable season.

I like my ratatouille chunky and stewlike.  I love this recipe because it doesn’t matter how nicely you chop your veggies.  I chop them big and sloppy.  Everything will cook down in this delicious Mediterranean stew, so don’t worry about perfection here, let your knife fly.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 4 medium cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 3 tbs. olive oil
  • 2 medium eggplants, cubed
  • 5 inch stalk rosemary, chopped (1 tsp. dry)
  • 6 big basil leaves, chopped (2 tsp. dry)
  • 1tsp. thyme, chopped (1/2 tsp. dry)
  • 1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 small zucchinis, chopped
  • 2 medium bell (red & green)
    peppers, chopped
  • 2 garden tomatoes, chopped (14-1/2 oz. can or 1 cup Chunky Marinara Sauce)

Chopped Veggies

Directions:

  • Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add onion and saute over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Add garlic and continue to saute for 2 additional minutes.
  • Add eggplant, salt, herbs and stir.  Cover and cook over medium heat, about 20 minutes until the eggplant is soft.  Stir occasionally.
  • Add zuchini, bell peppers and tomatoes.  If using canned whole tomatoes break them open with your wooden spoon. Cover and let simmer on medium-low heat until the zucchini and bell peppers are tender, about 10 minutes.  I prefer my vegetables a little more crisp, my husband likes them on the soft side.  I try to find a nice compromise. When I know he’s going to be eating my ratatouille, I usually go 15 minutes.
  • Serve hot or at room temperature.

This is what is so great about ratatouille as a summer meal.  I like to accompany room temperature ratatouille with toasted bread and a little olive oil for a make-your-own bruschetta.  It is also wonderful over my zesty Mediterranean Quinoa.  In the winter, a hot bowl of ratatouille is a warming meal on its own.