Sunday, July 4, 2010

Ratatouille to Go

This is the perfect summer take-along dish when you’ve been invited to a backyard pot luck as we were this  weekend. My first thought was to take along a pot filled with pieces of paper that read  luck, but clever as he thought this idea was Grenville suggested something edible.
As you may have read on our blog, he’s been bringing in freshly picked zukes all week. So, my second choice was to make a pot of ratatouille – a perfect take-along dish with a lot of pluses:
  • Uses lots of veggies
  • Easy stove-top prep (no heating the oven or house)
  • Serve warm or cold – appetizer or main dish
  • Healthy with lots of fresh veggies
  • Fool-proof and easy to add variations
What’s needed -
  • olive oil (extra virgin if possible)
  • 2 or 3 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 medium onions, coarsely cut into chunks
  • 3 green peppers, coarsely cut into chunks
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • fresh basil & oregano herbs (if available) use dried if not
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1 large can chunked tomatoes
  • salt & pepper
F&P Variation: There are lots of different recipes for making this dish. Many include eggplant which is first peeled and then cut into cubes before being sautéed. But since we had no eggplant, this version doesn’t include any.
Select a very large sauté pan. The one I used is called a “chicken fryer” and has high sides. Heat olive oil, add and sauté veggies  - doing each separately. First, I sautéed the zukes until just browned and soft, then transferred to a small colander to drain. Next, came the onions with the herbs and garlic added in, and then the peppers. Once everything has been sautéed, I combined them together in the pan, added the tomatoes and stirred them in gently over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until heated through.
Than, I transferred everything to a large Dutch oven and sprinkled grated cheese on top. Covered and let sit until cool.ratatouille0710 This dish serves a gathering. Leftovers are even better and can eaten as a vegetable stew. Crusty bread is a wonderful accompaniment (hint, hint, Lois), It can also be used as a primavera topping over pasta.


Ginnie said...

You've inspired me. I love it and have not made it in ages. It's a great dish to keep in the 'fridge for a single person like me. I can just eat it cold, hot, with or without added meats, etc., etc.
Thanks and Happy 4th.

davisart said...

Sounds wonderful! I love it too, it is such a comfort food. happy fourth to you both too, Diana

Anvilcloud said...

This looks sooo good. I'd like to try it. We'll see if I do.

Lois Evensen said...

Oooooh, the ratatouille looks wonderful. Did you see the movie? Yes, this definitely calls for some warm bread, soft on the inside, crusty on the outside. :)

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Hi Ginnie, WOW thanks for letting me know my post got you to thinking about this dish. It is an easy one, just need to cut up and saute and all done on top of the stove - a BIG plus in this 90+ weather cycle we're in again this week! I made extras on Sunday so we have it in the fridge for a couple of meals this week.

Happy (belated) 4th to you too, Diana. It is both wonderful and very tasty comfort food!

Hi AC, It is really good and also good for you cause you get a lot of veggies all at once. Plus it's a great way for us to use all those excess zukes now!

Yes, Lois, we did see the movie - very cute. We don't have any nice warm and crusty bread here sooo if you want to take a trip to the VA eastern shore, we'll b sure to have the ratatouille ready!

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