There are particular Mediterranean* dishes that simply scream “summer time” and ratatouille is one among them. (Gazpacho is one other one.) In fact, now that I’ve stated that, I actually assume this dish will work any time of yr. Sure, even when the staple substances — eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes — will not be in season.
*FYI, I did write just lately in The Seattle Instances that I might be focusing much less on the Mediterranean food plan, as a result of I believe it’s been unfairly held up on a pedestal. That stated, I do take pleasure in Mediterranean dishes and embody them in my repertoire.
Not like, say, a recent vegetable dish, the place seasonality issues (no tasteless mushy tomatoes, please), whenever you stew veggies this manner, it’s extra forgiving. I take pleasure in making a giant batch that I can eat for days, particularly when it’s too scorching to need to cook dinner each night.
Notion vs. actuality
I’ve made this recipe a number of instances, however one specific time stands out. I had made it a day forward of time, and after we had it for dinner the following night, my husband stated, “I do know you labored actually arduous on this, however…”
I swear, I assumed he was going to say, “…nevertheless it wasn’t that good.” (I don’t know why I assumed this, as a result of, once more I’d made it a number of instances and he at all times appreciated it.) However no, he completed, “…are you able to make it each week?”
As for the “working arduous” half, this recipe isn’t sophisticated. It does take a while chopping and being close to the range, true. Nonetheless, you probably have the entire stovetop substances chopped and able to go earlier than you begin sautéing, it’s a breeze.
As you keep watch over issues and stir the contents of the pan often, there’s loads of time to drink a cup of espresso — or glass of wine — load or unload the dishwasher, clear up the bowls you’re achieved with, chat along with your partner, good friend, little one or pet, and so forth. I assume it’s good that the completed product fools whoever you serve it to that you simply had been working like a fiend within the kitchen!
This basic Provençal dish contains a wealth of summer time greens, cooked in olive oil and flavored with basil and tyme.
- 1 pound eggplant sliced crosswise into 1-inch thick rounds
- 4-5 tablespoons additional virgin olive oil
- 1 pound zucchini trimmed, halved lengthwise, and sliced into 1/2-inch thick half-moons
- 1 medium yellow onion thinly sliced
- 1 giant crimson bell pepper cored, seeded and chopped
- 4 giant garlic cloves thinly sliced
- 4 Roma (plum) tomatoes seeded and chopped
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 sprigs recent thyme
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1/4 cup recent basil finely chopped
Place a rack in the midst of the oven, and preheat the oven to 400F.
Prepare the eggplant slices in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet (line with foil or parchment paper for simpler cleanup).
Pour 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small bowl, and brush onto the eggplant, then flip the slices and brush the second sides. Either side ought to have a skinny coating of oil.
Bake for half-hour, flipping the slices midway by means of. When achieved, the slices shall be tender and evenly browned on either side. Take away from the oven and funky. Minimize into tough 1-inch items and put aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high warmth in a Dutch oven or a big, deep skillet. Add the zucchini half-moons and sauté, stirring often, till golden and simply tender, about 10-12 minutes. Take away the zucchini to a big bowl, taking care to go away any extra oil behind within the pan.
Scale back the warmth to medium and add 1 tablespoon olive oil if there isn’t any oil left within the pan (this generally occurs). Add the onion and cook dinner, stirring often, till barely softened, about 4 to five minutes.
Add the bell pepper and garlic and cook dinner, stirring often, till simply tender however not browned, about 6 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, salt, thyme, and bay leaf and stir to mix. Scale back the warmth to low, cowl, and cook dinner for five minutes.
Add the eggplant and zucchini, stir all the things collectively, and cook dinner for one more 15 to twenty minutes. Style and alter the salt as mandatory. Discard the bay leaf and stir within the basil.
Serve scorching, heat or at room temperature.
This can be a good summer time dish, not simply because it makes probably the most of high-summer greens, however as a result of it’s simple to double and is even higher made forward. The leftovers work fantastically with some grilled salmon or hen on the aspect, or maybe a bean dish. For breakfast (or heck, lunch or dinner), prime with a fried or poached egg. To maintain with the informal summer time theme, please not that you simply don’t should be exact with the quantities. Once you’re coping with complete substances like eggplants and zucchini, it’s arduous to make it come precisely to a pound. The recipe will nonetheless be simply high quality!
Carrie Dennett is a Pacific Northwest-based registered dietitian nutritionist, freelance author, intuitive consuming counselor, creator, and speaker. Her superpowers embody busting vitamin myths and empowering girls to really feel higher of their our bodies and make meals selections that assist pleasure, vitamin and well being.