Ratatouille is a bright and chunky summer vegetable stew, rich with olive oil and fragrant with garlic and herbs.#nikicuisine
Recipe source: Once Upon A Chef
- 1 large (1.25 lb) eggplant, cut into 1/3 inch cubes
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- 1 medium zucchini (about 1/2 lb) cut into 1/3 inch cubes
- 1 medium yellow squash (about 1/2 lb) cut into 1/3 inch cubes
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 red, orange OR yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch dice
- 5 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 5 large vine-ripened tomatoes (1.75 lb) cut into 1/3 inch cubes, with their juices
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons fresh chopped thyme, plus more for serving
- 3/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Prep all the vegetables before you start cooking.
Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the eggplant and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until soft and starting to brown, 1-12 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan (no need to clean it). Add the zucchini and yellow squash and cook, stirring frequently, until tender crisp, 3-4 minutes. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and transfer to a plate; set aside.
Add two more tablespoons of oil to the pan and add the onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking for about 3 minutes more. Do not brown. Add the tomatoes and their juices, tomato paste, thyme, sugar, crushed red pepper flakes (if using) and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are broken down into a sauce, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the cooked eggplant to the pan; bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until the eggplant is soft. Add the zucchini and squash and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more, or until just warmed through. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Sprinkle with fresh basil and thyme, drizzle with a little olive oil if desired, and serve warm or chilled.
With a little imagination, there are endless ways to serve ratatouille. Try it:
– As a vegetarian main course over grains or polenta
– Alongside roasted or grilled meats and fish
– Shakshuka-style with poached eggs
– Tossed with pasta
– Folded into omelets or frittatas
– Dolloped over crostini with goat cheese
– Straight from the fridge as a snack (it’s delicious cold)
Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days. This is delicious served cold, or reheated in the microwave.
Freezer-Friendly Instructions: Let the dish cool completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. (Keep in mind that the zucchini won’t stay crisp after being frozen.)
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