Saturday, July 25, 2009


My first time making ratatouille. I envisioned something hearty, a cross between vegetable stew and gumbo. This was really good; rich and tomato-y with large, distinct chunks of eggplant and zucchini. Wonderful as pasta sauce. Serve over polenta if you're lucky enough to find some certified gluten free.

Serves 3 to 4
45 to 50 minutes
- extra large saucepan
- pot to cook up polenta or pasta or quinoa

1.5 large eggplant
6 cloves garlic
1 large yellow onion
10 fresh okra fruits
1 large red bell pepper
1.5 large zucchini (+ half of onion)
2 large tomatoes
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 of a (6 oz.) container tomato paste*
1/3 c. red cooking wine*
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. herbs de providence (-or- fresh rosemary and thyme)

10 oz. cooked pasta, or corn polenta or quinoa

*Hunts and Muir Glen tomato paste is GF; Holland House cooking wine is GF.

0. Sweat the eggplant. Peel the eggplant and cut into 1/2 inch rounds. Stack the pieces inside a bowl, generously salting each layer. Let the eggplant slices sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Once soft, squeeze the eggplant slices with your hands to remove the bitter, brown juice (should act just like a sponge). The vegetable flesh will become rather bruised, but not tear too much.. this is good. Rinse the squeezed eggplant slices several times to remove the salt.
1. Wash, peel and dice the garlic. Peel and dice up half of the yellow onion. Group the diced garlic and onion together.
Wash and cut the ends off the okra. Slice the okra into 1/4 inch rounds. Wash and core the red bell pepper. Chop pepper up into 1 inch pieces and group with the sliced okra.
Cut the sweated eggplant slices into rather large cubes (1/2" chunks). Set cubes aside.
Wash and remove ends of the zucchini. Slice into 1/2" round, then quarter each disk. Coarsly chop up the remaining 1/2 of the yellow onion. Group zucchini quarters with the large yellow onion pieces.
Chop the tomato into 1/2" chunks; don't bother peeling them. Set tomato apart from the other chopped veggies.
2. Place the garlic and diced onion into the large saucepan with the 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Cook over medium heat until the oil is sizzling and aromatic-- about 2 minutes.
3. Add in the red bell pepper and okra slices. Throw in a dash of herbs de providence and maybe a little water. Stir well. Let cook for 5 minutes
4. Add in the eggplant cubes and cook for another 5 minutes
5. Now add in the zucchini and (coarse) onion. Let everything cook for an additional 5 minutes.
6. Stir in the fresh tomatoes. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
7. When the tomatoes begin to break down, mix in the tomato paste, cooking wine, black pepper and remaining herbs de providence. Heat for an additional 5 minutes, or until the veggies are nice and mushy.
Serve over prepared pasta, polenta or quinoa.

No comments: