Making ratatouille always gives me a deep sense of satisfaction. My garden supplies most of the vegetables and herbs and as I chop them up for cooking I bask in the fruits of my labor. It never ceases to amaze me how seed, fertilizer, water, sunlight and soil can bring forth such a plethora of good things. And in ratatouille they look as good as they taste.
My ratatouille, like most of my recipes, is actually more vague than I present it. I tend to use whatever I have on hand in the quantity that the garden has provided. I love garlic, basil, and parsley so I rarely measure it. There are many good recipes for ratatouille and this one reflects what I did last night. I made this recipe for the head gardener and me and we ate the whole thing for dinner without anything else. Yummm…
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups of eggplant either sliced (Japanese) or cubed (Black Beauty)
3 cups zucchini sliced thin, salted, and drained to reduce the moisture
1 medium onion sliced or chopped
4 medium green sweet peppers cut into chunks
3-4 cloves garlic chopped
4 large tomatoes skinned and seeded (I substitute a large can of diced tomatoes because it is easier and I like my garden tomatoes better raw)
20 leaves fresh basil chopped
1/3 cup fresh parsley chopped
black pepper to taste
¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1. In a large heavy pan, saute the eggplant in the olive oil for about 5 minutes until it begins to change texture.
2. Add the zucchini, onion, sweet peppers and cook another 5 minutes over low heat stirring so that the food does not stick to the bottom.
3. Add the garlic and tomatoes, stir, cover and cook about 10 minutes more until the zucchini is tender but not mushy.
4. Remove the cover and cook until the liquid is reduced.
5. Add the basil and parsley.
6. Put in a serving dish and top with Parmesan cheese.
Note that the picture of my finished product does not show eggplant clearly. This is because I only had white skinned Japanese eggplant available and my experience last week suggested that the skins would be tough so I peeled them. I would have used purple skinned Japanese or Black Beauty with skins if either had been available and then you would be able to see it in the picture.