Sunday, July 24, 2016

Ratatouille

Ratatouille 












As Summer is in full swing and the fun family gatherings are a frequent occurrence, I’ve got one question for you …

What are you bringing to the backyard barbecue?

Forget about the pasta or potato salad.  Ratatouille reigns supreme when it comes to the perfect summer side.  Alright I do love a good mustard dill potato salad too but I digress.  

Ratatouille has it all.  Besides being the perfect way to highlight all those summer veggies, it’s also a great dish to make ahead then serve cool or at room temperature during your family festivities. 

Can you think of a better sidekick to a piece of grilled chicken, pork or fish?  Heck it’s not half bad as a gourmet burger topper either.  But besides being a stunning side dish or condiment, ratatouille also easily adapts to be the star of the show.  

Just imagine the elegance of your ratatouille pressed into a ring mold then topped it with a fresh grape tomato salad and a drizzle of balsamic reduction.  You don’t have to imagine it.  I demoed the stunning light lunch in my video tutorial below.  

Honestly this might have been the tastiest lunch I had all summer. 

Ratatouille
Prep time: 20 min
Cook Time: 1-1½  hours

Ingredients
  • 1 large eggplant, (diced into large cubes)
  • 2 zucchinis, (diced into large cubes)
  • 2 summer squash, (diced into large cubes)
  • 2 red bell peppers, (diced)
  • 1 large yellow onion, (diced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (sliced)
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tbs fresh thyme
  • 2 tbs fresh parsley
  • olive oil (enough to saute all the veggies about ½ cup)

Video Tutorial: 


Instructions
  1. In a very large skillet over a medium heat add few tablespoons of olive oil with half the eggplant cubes and some salt and pepper then saute for a few minutes stirring as needed until the pieces all have a golden color while still maintaining their structure then remove from the pan and set aside. 
  2. Add the other half of the eggplant with a little more oil and salt and pepper repeat step 1.
  3. Add the summer squash with more olive oil, salt and pepper repeat step 1 then set them aside in a separate bowl than the eggplant.
  4. Repeat with the zucchini and when they have some color set them aside in their own bowl.
  5. Add the chopped onion and red peppers together since they both have similar cooking times and saute for a few minutes with more olive oil and salt and pepper then clear a space in the pan and add the sliced garlic with a little oil and toast the garlic for a minute before mixing it in with the peppers and onions.
  6. Add a 6 oz can of tomato paste and stir it into the veggies before adding a cup of water to dilute the paste into a sauce consistency then add all the veggies back into the pan with the parsley and thyme. 
  7. Stir it all together and at this point you can either put the whole mixture into a casserole dish and bake it in a 325 degree oven for ½ hour or finish it right on the stove-top over a low heat for 10 or 15 minutes.
  8. Let it rest for 10 minutes and serve or serve it at room temperature or reheated the next day.  

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