I was first introduced to ratatouille when I was thirteen years old.
My sister and I were visiting our grandparents in Florida, and they treated us to an elegant meal at Brooks Restaurant. As an amuse bouche to each and every diner, the chefs provided a small, colorful cup of mysteriously marinated vegetables. At that point of my life, I refused to eat a piece of pasta if a speck of parsley had touched it. A whole cup of vegetables? That was not happening.
Growing up is a funny thing. Ratatouille contains most of my now favorite summer vegetables. It is simple enough to let their natural tastes shine, yet the blend gives it a very full-bodied flavor. And other than the chopping, it’s a relatively low-maintenance recipe.
Tonight I pre-roasted some of the vegetables to cut down on cooking time, because I was rather hangry when I began the cooking process.
- 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch strips
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 c roma tomatoes, chopped
- 1/4 c fresh basil, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 c vegetable broth
- 1 T evoo
Preheat oven to 400. Roast eggplant, zucchini, and pepper for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oil over medium heat. Sauté onion until soft; about 7 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add eggplant, zucchini, pepper, tomatoes, and vegetable broth. Lower heat; simmer, covered, about 20 minutes. Stir in basil just before serving.
On the plate tonight were a couple nice big scoops of ratatouille, baked yuca, and cannellini beans tossed in cilantro pesto. This was a perfect summertime meal.
So who’s going to the Healthy Living Summit? I am!