For me, it’s not summer without ratatouille … and I usually just take the shortcut of dicing and sauteeing the veggies, throwing on a few herbs along the way. However, this recipe was perfected by the young son of a friend – and it takes my “casual” version up about 5 notches! I think Nick has a future in the kitchen, don’t you :-)?
I love this hot or cold, as a side dish with just about anything, and it’s a great dish to take to a gathering – trust me, it’s so delicious that no one will realize that what they are eating is actually super-healthy!
Nick’s Summer Ratatouille
How to make:
Add to pan over medium heat:
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 tsp butter (for a vegan version, eliminate butter and double the olive oil)
1 tsp olive oil
Cook for ten minutes.
Then add the following to this mixture, cook for three more minutes.
2 green chili pepper, charred, peeled, seeds and ribs removed.
1 clove garlic
pepper (to taste)
Next, add the following, cook until bubbling (stirring occasionally), then reduce temperature and cook for 20 minutes.
28 oz crushed organic tomatoes – be sure not to buy the kind with added sugar!
2 pinches of thyme
While the sauce is cooking, mix the following in a small jar or glass:
4 tbsp organic olive oil
2 tsp minced or crushed garlic
2 tsp thyme leaves, chopped
pinch of salt
ground pepper, to taste
When the sauce is ready, let it cool until it is safe to handle, then place in food processor with 2 pinches dried basil, or 5-6 leaves of fresh, and puree until thick. Pour into bottom of dutch oven or other large casserole dish.Layer vegetables on top of sauce in dutch oven, starting with tomatoes, zucchini, squash then eggplant.
6 Roma tomatoes, sliced thin
2 yellow squash, sliced thin
2 zucchini, sliced thin
2 japanese eggplants, sliced thin
Gently and fairly evenly pour about half of the oil mixture over the vegetables.
Cook covered at 280 degrees for three hours. Pour remainder of olive oil mixture over dish, refrigerate until next day.
When ready to serve, warm for 45 minutes at 280, then drop to 225 degrees for another 45 minutes. Delicious served warm, or cooled.