We have “a situation” on our hands here friends!
And no, not this “Situation” LOL…
But instead, a kitchen “situation”!
What’s a person to do when they stumble across a situation such as this?! (how many times can I say that word??)
Full crisper drawers. Only 2 more dinners left to make this week. Uh ohhhhhhh!
I’ll tell you the perfect solution, a lil’ recipe I got from my momma 😛
Seriously one of the most deliciously easy & healthy ways to use up a ton of fresh produce that needs using.
I’m pretty sure a classic ratatouille requires that each vegetable be cooked seperately before being combined… but it’s a “school night” and we’re gonna short cut here in CookinFanatic land, mmmkay? 😉
Check out my last ratatouille adventure where I followed this a little more stictly!
I’m also pretty sure that the classic ratatouille contains tomatoes, onions, peppers, zucchini and eggplant… but don’t quote me on it, I’m no classically trained chef, just a girl who loves her kitchen! I say use what ya want/have on hand – go for it 😀
Round up your veggies – tonight we have green pepper, summer squash, zucchini and eggplant.
Plus garlic, onion, tomatoes and olive oil.
Too bad I bought strained tomatoes instead of chopped tomatoes, darn you Whole Foods for rearranging your shelves and throwing me off haha! 😛
Oh well, you gotta roll with the punches, right?
Chop your veggies into larger chunks, nothing too crazy, but definitely not a dice. This will give the ratatouille some heartiness.
Into the pot first goes the olive oil, onions, peppers and garlic (seasoned with salt & pepper). These need about 5 minutes to soften before getting crowded with their other vegetable friends 🙂
Then just start piling in the zucchini, squash and eggplant…
Get ready to add in the tomatoes and herbs/spices. More salt & pepper plus dried oregano and fresh basil!
And of course who could forget the wine?! Not I 😉
Wine just makes food better, whether it’s cooked into a dish or sipped alongside! Of course you could leave this out too if you so desire, who am I to judge 😛
Bring the ratatouille to a slow boil and then turn down to medium-low and cover.
Now here’s where you have to have some patience. Because let’s face it, sometimes good food just takes time! I let this simmer for about 2 hours which was really much easier than you think…
You see, once I stepped in the door from work, I immediately threw the dish together. Then, while it got it’s happy on for 2 hours, I managed to do a yoga session and some laundry!
2 hours later – a fully cooked dinner waiting for me on the stove – yes please 🙂
Served up – see how beautifully thick the chunky veggies are?!
We prefer to top ours with some cheese, this being shredded monterey jack.
And serve with some freshly buttered bread for dipping!
All I can say about this dish is it’s like a veggie party for your mouth. The ratatouille takes on the most fabulous flavor as it simmers over time and with the cheese on top almost has a pasta/pizza-like quality.
I will tell you that this is also one of the few ways that I can get The Man to eat a meat-free meal that is centered around veggies too…
We both love this dish and I hope that you will too! 🙂
- 1.5 tblsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped into large pieces
- 1 large green pepper, deseeded and chopped into large pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 large zucchini, chopped into large pieces
- 2 summer squash, chopped into large pieces
- 1 eggplant, peeled and chopped into large pieces
- 1 box Pomi tomatoes (strained or chopped)
- 1/2 cup white wine
- fresh basil
- dried oregano
- sea salt & black pepper to taste
Prep your veggies. Cook the onion, green pepper and garlic in olive oil for about 5 minutes until softened – season with salt and pepper. Add in the zucchini, squash, eggplant, tomatoes and wine plus the dried oregano, fresh basil, more salt & pepper to taste. Bring to a slow boil then reduce to medium-low. Cover and let simmer for an hour or two, stirring occasionally.
Serve with cheese to top and bread & butter for dipping if you like!