Garden Medley Ratatouille
A garden medley to satisfy any vegetable lovers’ tastes. This can be served on a bed of rice and served as a main meal or used as a side dish.
These vegetables are available year round in grocery stores but we are embarking on summer’s production of an abundance of fresh green zucchinis, deep purple eggplants, colorful peppers, and a variety of tomatoes. Whether you have your own backyard garden or exploring local farmer’s markets, summer is about ready to explode with fresh pickings.
When we’re in Toledo for soccer, the Meijer’s grocery store has become one of our hang outs between games (kind of lame…I know, but yet fun because I get to hang with my girl). On the last trip, Elizabeth and I ran across pale white peppers and cute baby eggplants. At the time I had intentions of searching for new recipes in which to use these new finds but my time suddenly slipped away from me. I fell back on what I know: ratatouille.
Growing up, my parents and grandparents had large gardens. We (yes, we –I helped out at a young age) did some major canning back then. We also ate our fair share of Ratatouille. As a kid, I didn’t have a real liking to these veggies but as an adult I just can’t get enough.
The original recipe calls for fresh tomatoes but without tomatoes being in full season I went to the next best thing – canned tomatoes. Plus, the added juice gave the recipe more of a stew feel. At the request of my daughter I added even more liquid, a chicken or vegetable broth, to help make a little more sauce. Also, this time around I opted for fire roasting the peppers and removing the skins (an extra step that you don’t have to do, but worth the effort for that fire-roasted flavor). You know how recipes say two of this and one of that? Remember it’s just a guideline. If you have one extra zucchini with no place to go other than in your pan, add it!
1 medium unpeeled eggplant, cut into ½ inch cubes or slices (I used baby eggplants)
2-3 small zucchini, cut into ½ inch slices
2-3 peppers of your choice, sliced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped. or smashed
4 medium tomatoes, chopped or one 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
¼ cup of olive oil for sauteéing
½ cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dried basil or several leaves of fresh basil (can use any variety of herbs)
Cooked rice (if serving as a main dish)
Parmesan Cheese (optional)
Using a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, sautée zucchini, peppers, onions, and eggplant in olive oil (about 5-10 minutes).
Add garlic at the end of the sautéeing process.
Add chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned), broth and herbs of choice.
Let simmer until the vegetables are tender.
Serve as a side dish or as a main dish over rice.
Top with Parmesan cheese.