Things are starting to look like they might be settling down a smidgen, finally. My mother has come and gone, Miss Thing’s sport will be coming to an end soon, and we have just been trying to take it easy the last few days. For more information about what’s been going on and what we’ve been doing, check out the post here. We have one more big thing to do next weekend, and then I’m hopeful that things will be more relaxed around here. But I did have enough time today to sit down and work on this Ratatouille post I’d been sitting on for a few days. Yay!
During all the busy-ness, I received a bunch of eggplant in my FFTY box. I had kind of thought I would make Ratatouille for my mother while she was visiting, unfortunately – I didn’t have a chance to make it before she had to leave. But I did make it a day or so later, and Mr. Man, Miss Thing, and I enjoyed it immensely. I had actually never had Ratatouille until just recently, when I started getting eggplant from FFTY. Like many other veggies that FFTY has gotten me to try, I had just never really had a lot of eggplant before. But I can say that without a doubt, it will be making rounds on my table from now on.
The making of Ratatouille coincided with Mr. Man taking up an interest in bread baking – and I can’t say they’re completely unrelated because, dude – his fresh bread and my Ratatouille is like a match made in heaven. It’s a warm, hearty tummy-filled-to-bursting adventure in happiness. The only sad part of this tale is that, like so many other things in life – tomato season has pretty much ended for this year. The first time I made Ratatouille, I started out with the recipe on Simply Recipes found here. I don’t make it exactly the same, (I always gotta put my own spin on it, donchyaknow) but I really liked the method of preparation she offered. This recipe is almost no fail. Any combination of tomatoes, summer squash and eggplant is bound to work out in to something tasty. I’ve given the measurements of what I used – but feel free to experiment.
- 2 Globe Eggplants; cut in to 1-2″ chunks
- 3 Japanese Eggplant; cut in to 1-2″ chunks
- 1 lb Sweet Peppers; cut in to 1″ chunks
- 1 lb Yellow Summer Squash; cut in to 1″ chunks
- 3 lbs Tomatoes; cut in to 1″ chunks
- 1 large onion; diced
- 5 cloves garlic; minced
- 1 quart Broth; chicken or veggie
- Olive Oil
- Kosher Salt
- Toss the Eggplant chunks liberally with Kosher Salt and place in a sieve. Set aside for 30-60 minutes. (I do this step first, then chop and assemble remaining ingredients)
- Preheat Oven to 350°
- Rinse the eggplant and drain.
- In a large, heavy, oven safe pot with a tight fitting lid (recommend: Cast Iron Dutch Oven) heat a little olive oil over medium heat
- Brown the eggplant in batches, adding more olive oil as neccessary.
- Once all the eggplant has been browned, repeat for the Summer Squash – browning in small batches, adding more olive oil as neccessary
- Set aside the squash and eggplant
- Saute the onions until translucent in whatever olive oil happens to be in the pot still (or add a little bit of oil if neccessary)
- Scooch the onions to the side to make space and add the peppers. Saute the peppers until tender.
- Stir in the garlic and return the eggplant and squash to the pot. Add the broth, and a couple of liberal pinches of kosher salt.
- Cover and place in the oven.
- Bake for 1 hour.
- Remove from oven and stir in tomatoes
- Gently heat until tomatoes are warmed through
- Transfer the Ratatouille to a sieve that has been placed over a bowl and drain, reserving juices
- Return the juices to the pot and heat over medium heat
- Simmer until reduced by half – adding any juices that have continued to drain off the veggies
- When all the juices have all been reduced, return the veggies to the pan, stirring to combine.
- Add Kosher Salt to taste