Ratatouille

Ratatouille is a savory medley of zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, and tomatoes, all of which are actually fruits. Unsurprisingly, we have farmers to thank for this flavorful summer stew. Hungry working class families took readily available garden rations and created a nourishing meal. Ratatouille reminds us that even humble ingredients make a hearty dish: succulent technically-fruits on a tangy, herbed sauce, roasted into a bubbly, delicious, mishmash. Stew might not be in your usual rotation for summer dining, but its light flavor and easy prep make it a winner for this season.  

RATATOUILLE
Total cook time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Makes 6 servings 

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1 Eggplant 
  • 3 Roma Tomatoes 
  • 1 Yellow Squash 
  • 1 Zucchinis 
  • 4 T. Olive Oil, divided 
  • 1 Onion, diced 
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, minced 
  • 1 Bell Pepper, seeded and diced 
  • 1 C. Carrot, shredded 
  • 14 oz. Crushed Tomatoes 
  • Salt, to taste 
  • Ground Black Pepper, to taste 
  • 1 T. Basil  
  • 1 tsp. Parsley 
  • 1 tsp. Thyme  

 INSTRUCTIONS 

-Preheat the oven to 375F. 
-In a large nonstick pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Add in the onion, garlic, and carrot and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. 
-Add the crushed tomatoes and seasonings and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. 
-Using a knife or mandoline, slice the eggplant, tomatoes, squash, and zucchini into approximately ¹⁄₁₆-inch thick rounds, set aside.
-Once the sauce has thickened, pour into a baking dish. Using a spatula, spread out the sauce until it covers the bottom of the dish. 
-Arrange the vegetables in alternating slices (eggplant, tomato, squash, zucchini…repeat) standing upright in the dish over the sauce. Brush the top with remaining olive oil and lightly sprinkle with more salt and pepper. 
-Cover and bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake until vegetables are tender, about 20 more minutes. Serve immediately.  

Try your own variations, like adding okra and bacon drippings for a southern-style Ratatouille. Enjoy, and let us know what you think!