There are specific Mediterranean* dishes that simply scream “summer season” and ratatouille is certainly one of them. (Gazpacho is one other one.) In fact, now that I’ve stated that, I actually suppose this dish will work any time of 12 months. Sure, even when the staple components — eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes — should not in season.
*FYI, I did write lately in The Seattle Occasions that I’d be focusing much less on the Mediterranean weight loss program, 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 embrace them in my repertoire.
In contrast to, say, a recent vegetable dish, the place seasonality issues (no tasteless mushy tomatoes, please), once you stew veggies this fashion, it’s extra forgiving. I take pleasure in making an enormous batch that I can eat for days, particularly when it’s too scorching to need to prepare 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 onerous on this, however…”
I swear, I assumed he was going to say, “…however 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 preferred it.) However no, he completed, “…are you able to make it each week?”
As for the “working onerous” half, this recipe isn’t difficult. It does take a while chopping and being close to the range, true. Nevertheless, when you have the entire stovetop components chopped and able to go earlier than you begin sautéing, it’s a breeze.
As you regulate 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 completed with, chat along with your partner, buddy, 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 have been working like a fiend within the kitchen!
This traditional Provençal dish contains a wealth of summer season 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.
Organize 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. All sides ought to have a skinny coating of oil.
Bake for half-hour, flipping the slices midway by. When completed, the slices can be gentle and flippantly browned on all sides. Take away from the oven and funky. Lower 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 prepare dinner, stirring often, till barely softened, about 4 to five minutes.
Add the bell pepper and garlic and prepare 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 prepare dinner for five minutes.
Add the eggplant and zucchini, stir every part collectively, and prepare dinner for an additional 15 to twenty minutes. Style and regulate the salt as needed. Discard the bay leaf and stir within the basil.
Serve scorching, heat or at room temperature.
It is a good summer season 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 superbly with some grilled salmon or rooster on the facet, or maybe a bean dish. For breakfast (or heck, lunch or dinner), high with a fried or poached egg. To maintain with the informal summer season theme, please not that you simply don’t have to be exact with the quantities. If you’re coping with entire components like eggplants and zucchini, it’s onerous to make it come precisely to a pound. The recipe will nonetheless be simply advantageous!
Carrie Dennett is a Pacific Northwest-based registered dietitian nutritionist, freelance author, intuitive consuming counselor, creator, and speaker. Her superpowers embrace busting vitamin myths and empowering girls to really feel higher of their our bodies and make meals decisions that help pleasure, vitamin and well being.