To be honest Ratatouille is not a dish that I am very familiar with but when I came across a recipe in Miss Dahl's Cookbook I knew I wanted to give it a try. My sister-n-law has been keeping our kitchen stocked this summer with fresh vegetables from her garden and this traditional French vegetable dish felt like the perfect way to use them up.
Instead of throwing all of the vegetables in at once, the secret to a good ratatouille is to cook the vegetables separately so each will taste truly of itself. It is usually served as a side dish but also makes a wonderful vegetarian meal accompanied by pasta, rice or bread. It is easy to make, but fairly time-consuming. In order to make dinner time easier, I washed and chopped the vegetables in the morning so all I had to do later was add the vegetables to the pot to cook.
This recipe yields a lot so it would be an impressive dish to serve if you are having company over. Serve it along side some grilled meat for a healthy and filling summertime dinner.
I made a few minor adjustments from the original recipe, mostly to the seasonings and herbs. Feel free to substitute or add to based on ingredients you have on hand.
(Recipe adapted from Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights Cookbook)
- 2 eggplants, cubed (approximately 6 cups)
- 2 large zucchini, cubed (approximately 6 cups)
- 4 tablespoons (or so) of olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped (approximately 4 cups)
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
-1 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
- 2 red bell peppers, deseeded and thickly chopped (approximately 4 cups)
- 3 tomatoes, peeled, quartered and deseeded (2 cups)
- Sea salt and pepper
- Handful of fresh basil, chopped
- Sprinkle the eggplant and zucchini with salt, pour into a colander for an hour or so, then pat dry. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet and brown the vegetables on each side. Set aside.
- In a large pan or casserole, heat the rest of the oil and add in the onions, garlic, and coriander seeds. Cook for about 4 minutes. Add in the peppers and simmer on low for another 10 minutes. Pour in the tomatoes and keep on low heat for another 15 minutes. Lastly, add in the browned zucchini and eggplant and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for another 10 minutes or so.
- Serve warm topped with fresh basil before serving.