Hello everyone, Jess here. Today I won the late summer vegetable bingo. Usually once a year, the sharebox houses all the ingredients I need to make the fabulous French vegetable dish known as ratatouille. Today’s the day, folks!
There are many variations in ratatouille ingredients, but the usual suspects include eggplant, squash and/or zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, and herbs such as thyme, basil and/or parsley. This dish screams “late August CSA!”
There are also different schools of thought regarding how to make ratatouille. Some folks believe that dicing and tossing all the veggies together is the way to go. Some believe instead that the vegetables should be cooked separately and then combined. I learned how to make ratatouille from The Joy of Cooking, who’s adaptation leans toward the latter method. I find that this method really does maintain the flavor of each veggie more so than the “all-in-one” method. Both taste good, it’s personal preference I think. In fact, my ratatouille tastes different each time I’ve made it depending on how much of each veggie I have on hand. I’ll include the Joy of Cooking specifications for comparison.
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound- peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes)
- 1 pound zucchini (cut into 1 inch cubes)
- 1 1/2 cups sliced onions
- 2 large red bell peppers (seeded and cut into 1 inch squares)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 1/2 cups peeled seeded and chopped fresh tomatoes
- 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- salt and pepper to taste
Today’s bounty was squash-heavy, so this dish is a little yellower than my last version, which was heavier on the tomato and eggplant. Whatever the ratio, this combo of veggies complement each other pretty nicely.