Embrace the perfect summer veggie stew
August 06, 2014
Summer brings abundant squash, peppers, eggplant and tomatoes.
Herb gardens growing out of control? Well, here’s the perfect recipe to use all your summer vegetables and herbs — ratatouille. Yes, just like the movie. This is a wonderful — you know it’s summertime recipe — that will impress your neighbors, use vegetables from your garden and taste absolutely delicious.
This recipe serves six to eight people.
1 large eggplant – cut into large dice
2 zucchini squash – cut into large dice
2 yellow crook neck squash – cut into large dice
2 Vidalia onions – cut into large dice
1 red bell pepper – cut into large dice (seeds and stem removed)
1 yellow bell pepper – cut into large dice (seeds and stem removed)
1 orange bell pepper – cut into large dice (seeds and stem removed)
1 banana pepper – cut into large dice (seeds and stem removed)
2 whole tomatoes – pureed and strained
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
3 sprigs of rosemary – picked and chopped
3 sprigs of thyme – picked and chopped
1 bunch parsley – picked and chopped
Generously salt the diced eggplant and set aside for one hour. They (whoever the heck they are…) say that salting your eggplant will take out some of the bitterness. While the eggplant is doing its thing, dice the rest of your vegetables and keep them separate. In a large sauté pan, over high heat, sauté each vegetable individually with olive oil, salt, and pepper until they are cooked al dente. Remove from heat and set aside.
Now it’s time to deal with the eggplant. Some people like to squeeze the juice out of the eggplant, but personally I like to rinse the eggplant under water using a china cap, then place on paper towels to dry. Once again, in a large sauté pan over high heat, sauté the eggplant with olive oil and pepper (no salt needed) until al dente.
Once all the vegetables have been sautéed, combine all vegetables in a large pot, add tomato puree, thyme, and rosemary and bring to a boil. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper at this time, add chopped parsley, stir, and remove from heat; ready to serve.
Ratatouille can be served as its own dish, like in the movie “Ratatouille,” or it’s a great accompaniment for your favorite lamb, fish, or poultry dish. This recipe is vegetarian and completely vegan as well.
Daniel Porubiansky is chef partner of Century House Tavern restaurant in Woodstock.