Wednesday, November 17, 2010


(click picture for larger view)

Ratatouille is a traditional French vegetable dish consisting of eggplant, tomatoes, onions, zucchini, garlic, bell peppers, and various herbs. This is usually served as an accompaniment, as I did to veal cutlets, but has also been known to serve as an entree.

Ingredients: For the eggplant, I used Italian eggplant, (Italian eggplant is smaller than American eggplant and usually less bitter), plum tomatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, yellow onion and garlic. I subtracted bell peppers and added cremini mushrooms and okra to the mix.

Preparation: For the eggplant, zucchini and squash: All were halved then quartered and cut into one inch pieces. The garlic is finely chopped. One large yellow onion: cut the ends, peeled, halved end to end, then cut into 1/8's. I blanched the tomatoes. When the tomatoes are blanched, the skin is easily peeled off. (Blanche is a cooking method that requires the plunging of vegetables, pasta or proteins into boiling water very quickly, until cooked, then removed and plunged into ice water to stop the cooking process.) The mushrooms were cut into 1/3rd's. For, the okra, I cut off the tops and a slight bit of the tips, then halve across (not lengthwise).

Extra Virgin Olive Oil was heated in a large saucepan, over medium. Next garlic was added. After a minute or two, I added all veggies to the pan, covered and lowered heat. Keeping an eye and stir often, I added fresh parsley, thyme and Herbes de Provence. In order to avoid the veggies getting mushy, you can do one of two things: Keep a close eye and do not overcook or prepare all veggies separately and combine and heat all together.  

FYI: I like to add red chili flake when I eat this.

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