If you’ve had a baby recently, or have been to my house for a meal in the last 6 months, chances are, you’ve had my ratatouille. The inspiration came from a conversation I had with my lovely friend and upstairs neighbor, Dominique, with whom I often meal plan. How I executed the recipe came from a conversation I had the dear Hilary, someone I also do meal planning with. Something you may not know about me? I love meal planning.
But I’ll save that titillating post for another week- the excitement of the details might just be too much for all 4 of you who are reading this.
Back to Ratatouille.
It’ French- obvi. But something I was always against eating, what with the eggplant and all. But I needed a veggie option for lunchtime, something other than Black Bean Anything. Something lowish in carbs…. cough…. (these jeans are a bit on the tiiiiiight side these days).
Anyways, I love making this, I love eating this and since most people ask for the recipe, I thought I’d publish it here. Serve it alone, with polenta, with a roast anything and you’ll be sure to have an insta-go to side dish. I promise.
1 medium eggplant
1/2 bulb fennel
8 large tomatoes or – big can of diced tomatoes drained
2 medium roasted red peppers (instructions here)
2 medium zucchinis (the yellow ones are the sweetest!)
1 large onion (I use vidalias)
3 cloves garlic
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper.
Using tomatoes, onion, garlic and bay leaf and oregano, make a basic tomato sauce and keep it on medium in a large Dutch oven or stock pot.
Slice your eggplant in 1/4″ slices and sweat them (sprinkle them with salt and sandwich them between 2 layers of paper towel). After 20 minutes, dice at 1/4″.
CONSISTENT SIZE OF VEGGIES IS KEY HERE. 1/4″, or roughly the size of your pinky nail . Also important? Seasoning each veggie as you cook them.
Starting with the fennel, sauté in fry pan with olive oil and seasoning (salt and pepper). When it’s soft, throw it into your tomato sauce.
Next- do the eggplant – sauté until soft, throw in tomato sauce.
Next- zucchini-same as above .
Throw your roasted red peppers in there too.
Now that you have all your ingredients in the tomato sauce, adjust the seasoning , and cook uncovered for a half hour. Squeeze in your lemon and you’re done! It’s a lot of chopping, but it’s well worth it!