June 22, 2010

Yum! The field tomatoes, eggplant and peppers- hot and sweet- are in season. Time to snip some herbs, (I hope you were fortunate enough to get an herb box at the beginning of the season), and get cooking! :)

Ratatouille blends the flavors of many of these early summer veggies and herbs. Ratatouille is French for stirred stew. It's simple to make, open to interpretation, delicious and comforting, yet light to eat. The base of ratatouille is tomatoes. Other ingredients may include green peppers, eggplants, zucchini, garlic and onions. Here is a basic frame for a ratatouille, based on ingredients in this week's boxes. However, I hope you will leap to the adventurous and have fun experimenting and adding your own creative twist to this yummy dish. I like to make mine in a stock pot. This allows me to make a double batch and freeze half for a later meal. Here's my double batch (serves 8-10):


3-4 large tomatoes
1 large eggplant
2-4 zucchini, depending on size
4-6 yellow squash, depending on size
1 large onion
2-6 cloves of garlic, depending on size (and to taste)
2-4 green peppers, depending on size, seeded and pith removed
Fresh herbs, to taste: oregano, basil, thyme, parsley (or use dried)
Salt & black pepper, to taste
3 Tbsp olive oil

Add oil to bottom of stock pot. Set heat to medium. Chop veggies, adding to pot as you chop: tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, onion, garlic, eggplant, green pepper. Add herbs and spices. Lower heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring frequently and lowering heat as needed. Continue cooking until veggies are soft and flavors are blended, about 30-45 minutes. Serve over cubed boiled potatoes, cooked wide egg noodles, cooked brown or Basmati rice, or with lots of crusty bread- to soak up those yummy juices. Mmm-mmm! Happy eating!