Ratatouille: Is It A) A Disney Rat Chef, or B) a Bountiful Summer Harvest in a Pot?

Ratatouille: Is It A) A Disney Rat Chef, or B) a Bountiful Summer Harvest in a Pot?

Ratatouille: Is It A) A Disney Rat Chef, or B) a Bountiful Summer Harvest in a Pot?

 

The correct answer is actually both A) and B).

We’ll be focusing on the non-rodent type today.

Ratatouille, the food, began in Nice, France as a peasant dish years ago. “Touiller” means “to toss” in French, and was named that because basically you’re just throwing a whole bunch of bright, summer veggies into a stew pot.

 

Ratatouille

 

Spence and I ventured into the garden the other morning thinking we’d have a few tomatoes to pick and that would be that.

Yet, instead, we were greeted by a bountiful harvest begging to be picked and turned into something delectable.

That’s the fun part about a vegetable garden: the delight of unexpected goodies. I eyed my loot, and quickly decided that ratatouille was in order. Truly, the only two vegetables I didn’t have growing in the garden were the onions and garlic, and I knew I had those in the pantry.

Besides the veggie prep, or “mis en place” since we’re talking about a French dish, ratatouille is a cinch! Once all of your veggies are chopped, you just begin tossing them into a big pot with olive oil, one by one, and letting them soften and release their flavors, becoming a tender, succulent summer stew.

This dish is often served as a side, but since I’m trying to stick to at least one meatless entrée per week, I served it as the main course over egg noodles. Come to think of it, it would also work really well with rice. Come to think of it, again, a couple of my hardcore carnivores may have thrown a few heated up, pre-made meatballs on their plates.

Change does not happen overnight.

Here’s how you do the ratatouille thing:

Recipe courtesy of: Emeril Lagasse

Serves 6

Ingredients:

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more as needed
1 1/2 cups small diced yellow onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cups medium diced eggplant, skin on
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 cup diced green bell peppers
1 cup diced red bell peppers
1 cup diced zucchini squash
1 cup diced yellow squash
1 1/2 cups peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Set a large 12-inch saute pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the onions and garlic to the pan. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they are wilted and lightly caramelized, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the eggplant and thyme to the pan and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is partially cooked, about 5 minutes. Add the green and red peppers, zucchini, and squash and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, basil, parsley, and salt and pepper, to taste, and cook for a final 5 minutes. Stir well to blend and serve either hot or at room temperature.

 

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Here’s the printable version.

 

Ratatouille: A Happy Summer Harvest in a Pot!

Serves 6 - 8
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 45 minutes
From magazine Food Network

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 1/2 cup small diced yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon garlic (minced)
  • 2 cups eggplant (medium dice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 cup green bell peppers (diced)
  • 1 cup red bell peppers (diced)
  • 1 cup zucchini (diced)
  • 1 cup yellow squash (diced)
  • 1 1/2 cup tomatoes (peeled, seeded, and chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil (thinly sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley (chopped)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Directions

Step 1
Set a large 12-inch saute pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the onions and garlic to the pan. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they are wilted and lightly caramelized, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the eggplant and thyme to the pan and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is partially cooked, about 5 minutes. Add the green and red peppers, zucchini, and squash and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, basil, parsley, and salt and pepper, to taste, and cook for a final 5 minutes. Stir well to blend and serve either hot or at room temperature.

 

Eat it outside with a glass of wine and a croissant, and you’ll be one happy camper.

 

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It’s so fun to look at this beautiful meal and realize that we grew 90% of it in our own backyard.

 

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This is the time of year when I start squirreling things away for the winter like crazy. It must be an instinctive thing going all the way back to a past life when I was a nut burying rodent. Since I had doubled the recipe, I pulled out a large Rubbermaid container, marked the date and contents on the lid, and stashed it in the downstairs freezer. By the end of harvest time, I should have half a dozen ready-to-heat suppers hanging out in there.

And that makes my inner squirrel feel at peace.

 

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Written by Becky


Website:

5 Comments
  • Mary Lou Sandvik says:

    Becky, I love a squirrel who can send a message such as the one you pictured! Of all the thousand squirrels I encountered in Niles, not one of them seemed literate. How come? Your ratatouille looks perfectly delicious. After all your planting, weeding, watering and picking you deserve a bountiful dish like this

    “Who will help to EAT the bread?” “I will said the cat,” “I will said the dog”, “I will said the mom”!!! YLM

  • jim says:

    Was a great meal!

  • Gunter says:

    This looks amazing!


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About Me:

Hi! My name is Becky. I’m a mom, a wife, a friend, a writer, and a compulsive thinker. Don't invite me to a spa or to shop the day away, but rather, make me laugh, engage me in interesting conversation, play a game with me, or give me a cappuccino and homemade vanilla bean flan and I’m yours ‘til the cows come home.

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