Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Homestyle Ratatouille

This is for TeamPhotoblog Challenge #4.

Let me start by saying this: If you're expecting a ratatouille that looks like the final dish Remy makes in the film of the same name, you're going to be disappointed. This is a homestyle version of the recipe where the vegetables are cubed instead of sliced.

This dish is for the vegetable lover as it incorporates ten different vegetables (if you count different colored peppers as different vegetables...which I do).

What you'll need:

A stock pot to cook it all in
A skillet to brown the vegetables in
1 green pepper: cubed
1 red pepper: cubed
1 yellow pepper: cubed
1 orange pepper: cubed
1 medium sized eggplant: cubed (for this recipe, I used a larger Japanese eggplant)
3 cloves of garlic: diced
2 onions: sliced into thin rings (I used sweet onions, but red or white are just as good)
2 green zucchini: cubed
2 yellow squash: cubed
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs of thyme
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
4 roma tomatoes chopped
1/2 cup of olive oil

Begin by chopping up the vegetables. It's a long, arduous task that requires good knife skills (and a good knife. I like using a Santakou for this).

Take the stock pot and put 1 & 1/2 tablespooons of oil in it. Heat over medium-low heat.

Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft.

As that's going, take the skillet and heat 1 & 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and saute the zucchini in batches until browned.Saute all the remaining vegetables one batch (peppers, eggplant) at a time, adding 1 & 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet each time you add a new set of vegetables. Once each batch has been sauteed add them to the stock pot.

Season with salt and pepper.

Add the bay leaf and thyme and cover the pot.

Raise the heat to medium and cook for 15-20 minutes.

Add the chopped tomatoes and parsley to the stock pot.

Cook for another 10-15 minutes while stirring occasionally.

Remove the bay leaf, plate, and enjoy.

A nice twist to this dish is to cut up and fry polenta. Then serve the homestyle ratatouille on top. Another way is to cut up and bake some french bread, then serve on top. In any way, this is a delicious recipe that's easy to make and healthy too.