Do you have an over abudance of fresh produce from your garden? Has your zucchini overtaken everything or are you begging people to take your fresh tomatoes?
Well, good for you! That is NOT me!!
Unfortunately, I have been cursed with a black thumb. I grew up with a backyard garden that always prospered and my husband grew up on a huge farm. You would think we would be pros at the whole garden thing. Nope. Not happening. Even after we had a soil analysis done and invested tons of money into creating the “perfect” pH and balance of nutrients. It is really quite sad.
I am beyond thankful for my CSA and farmer’s market. I am blessed with beautiful produce that I was not given the opportunity to kill.
My latest finds were what are typical this time of year–zucchini, eggplant, green peppers, and tomatoes. Which really worked to my advantage because I was craving Ratatouille.
Ratatouille is the perfect dish to use up any abundance of vegetables your garden produces. As long as you have an eggplant, you can essentially have this vegetable stew. You can replace yellow squash for the zucchini or red peppers for the green peppers. Throw in cherry tomatoes or beefsteak tomatoes, or roma, as I did. If you are really lucky, use Heirloom tomatoes–just be sure to invite me over!!
The first step is to prep your eggplant. You must peel and dice the eggplant. Then place on a drying rack over a cookie sheet or in a colander and salt well. This will release all the natural bitterness an eggplant has (and if you think you don’t like eggplant, you may have not had it prepared correctly which makes a world of difference.) I let the eggplant sit for about 30 minutes to an hour.
The next step is really easy–get those chopped veggies stewing and prepare yourself for some pure veggie comfort!
A few notes about My Ratatouille Recipe:
- I use green olives instead of black olives. I am just not a fan of regular old olives. Kalamata would be good as well.
- Use high quality olive oil in this recipe as it gives the veggies so much flavor.
- I love to top this with sour cream or Greek yogurt–that little bit of tang and creaminess adds so much. Omit for Paleo or Vegan.
- This dish is fabulous when soaked up with crusty French bread, but easily a meal on it’s own.
- If you don’t wish to use fresh tomatoes, use a 15 ounce can of plum tomatoes.
- If you choose to use fresh tomatoes, as I did, you will want to dip the fresh tomatoes into boiling water for about 10-20 seconds to remove skin (it will peel off easily after this tip.)
Clean out that produce drawer and get cooking!
Farmer's Market Ratatouille
- 1 eggplant peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/4 cup olive oil plus additional for serving
- 1 large onion sliced (I used Vidalla)
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup whole Spanish Green Olives
- 3 large green peppers julienned
- 3 cups zucchini sliced into 1/2 inch slices
- 2 cups seeded peeled,and quartered tomatoes (or one 15 ounce can whole plum tomatoes.
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 tablespoon fresh
- sour cream or plain yogurt for serving
Prepare eggplant. Peel and seed tomatoes, if using fresh tomatoes. Chop veggies.
Heat oil in large dutch oven or sauce pan over medium heat. Add in onion and garlic and allow to saute for 5-7 minutes.
Add in remaining vegetables, olives, oregano, and prepared eggplant.
Simmer covered for about 45 minutes. Remove lid and turn up the heat to medium and allow to cook for 15 additional minutes to reduce liquid.
Season with salt if needed (remember eggplant was salted heavily and some of that salt is retained by the eggplant, so taste test first!!)
Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and sour cream if desired.
Looking for other recipes to use up your fresh produce?
Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread