Inside-Out Ratatouille with Zucchini Noodles

 
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"Ratatouille is a traditional French Provençal stewed vegetable dish, originating in Nice, [France]. The full name of the dish is ratatouille niçoise." Not to be confused with the movie. Now that we've cleared that up, on to today's story! 

This week, my dad asked me if I wanted to go on a little vacation with him and my sister and I said, YES! I have been lucky enough to travel to many exciting locations with my dad and I can hardly wait to hop on a plane and head to the west coast! We're going to British Columbia to hit up Tofino, Salt Spring Island, do some fun hikes in Vancouver, browse Granville Island (have you ever been to the market? or the Umbrella Shop? -best umbrellas in the world!), along with plenty of seawall walks. I'm going to try surfing in Tofino, go whale watching, kayak, maybe get my sail on, embrace my inner hippie, and eat plenty of west coast delights. 

If anyone has a great must-visit, must-do, or must-eat-at recommendation for any of those locations, please let me know! I'm trying to do as much planning ahead as possible. We'll be heading out in a few weeks and then I'll come back and overwhelm you with family and scenery photos. For now, I'm going to overwhelm you with ratatouille photos. 
 

 
Speaking of my dad, it happens to be Father's Day this weekend. I was planning on taking him to my summertime day-tripping go-to, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Twenty Valley wine country, with my sister, packing a picnic, and visiting a winery for a tasting. I hope to have some photos to share with you if the weather holds up. Fingers crossed! 

 
I'm working on a little picnic menu for us to take, and we'll probably eat everything out of mason jars, because I'm obsessed. Adorable, eco-friendly, and BPA-free -oh yeah! It takes every ounce of willpower not to photograph all of my recipes for the blog in mason jars. It also took every ounce of willpower not to call this recipe "deconstructed ratatouille," because I've been watching too much MasterChef. 

 
Ratatouille was one of the first recipes I made for this blog back in the day. I thought I'd revamp it, make it a meal, and boost the texture and protein with new potatoes and chickpeas. Warm or cold, it was such a treat -well, fresh summer produce is a treat to me, at least! Big. Bold. Ratatouille-y (the new descriptive food term I just made up). It's one of those next-day-even-better meals. 

If you don't have a spiralizer or spiral slicer, feel free to cook chopped zucchini right in the ratatouille along with the other vegetables, or use a peeler to create ribbons. 
 
To be honest, I didn't eat it this in a mason jar. I had it for dinner in a big bowl and garnished it with a drizzle of the most amazing, runny Lebanese tahini. (My actual meals don't make for the best food-styling shots). The tahini is optional, but... Do it! Do it now! Also, pairing tahini with chickpeas creates a complete protein, a highly scrumptious health perk.  
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Inside-Out Ratatouille with Zucchini Noodles

Serves 6

Ingredients:

Ratatouille
¾ lb eggplant (1 medium), cut into medium pieces 
½ lb new potatoes, cut into small pieces
1 cup onion (1 medium), chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp sea salt 
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes
2 cups cooked chickpeas
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
leftover core from spiralized zucchini, chopped

Noodles
4 medium zucchini, spiralized, cores reserved to add to ratatouille

Garnish
very runny tahini (preferably Lebanese), for drizzling*    
chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

To prepare ratatouille: In a large pot, combine eggplant, potatoes, onion, garlic, sea salt, and spices. Add 1/3 cup water. Cover and cook over medium heat until vegetables are soft, stirring every 5 minutes (will take about 20 minutes). Remove from heat, add tomatoes, breaking up with a wooden spoon.

Add remaining ingredients, bring to a gentle boil, reduce to a simmer, partially cover, and cook for 30 minutes. Serve over zucchini noodles, drizzle with tahini, and a sprinkle of fresh parsley. Store leftover ratatouille and noodles separately in the refrigerator.

*If you can only find thick tahini, thin a small amount with a couple tablespoons of water.

Do you like to give "experience" gifts over material gifts?

 

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