Monday, July 23, 2012

Ratattouille

I don't really have a recipe for this.  I just kind of threw stuff together based on instructions from my coworker, Karen (source of many tasty things that come out of my kitchen) with the veggies I had on hand from the CSA. This is a great use-up recipe for all the veggies that are plentiful right now - zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc.   Karen served this at a dinner party fundraiser we recently attended at her house, and I asked for her recipe.  She just kind of made it up, so I did the same.  Here's what I did:

Take a couple of zucchini, summer squash, eggplant and onions; chop into roughly same-size chunks.  Drizzle with olive oil and then season with salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet (or two or three, depending on how much veg you chopped).  Roast in a hot oven (I roasted at 400 degrees) until veg gets a nice caramelized color and is softened (about 20 min?  Maybe?)   I also roasted a bunch of cherry tomatoes that I needed to use up.

Then... here's where you can follow one of several paths.  You can scoop everything into a large pot (like a Dutch oven or stock pot) and finish it on the stovetop.   You can also scoop it all into a crockpot and finish it that way.  You can probably also throw everything into a Dutch oven and throw it back in your oven at a lower temperature.  The main thing is that you want to add some kind of tomatoes here, such as a can of crushed tomatoes, or some chopped garden tomatoes, or the cherry tomatoes if you roasted any with your other veg, and let all the flavors and different veggies meld together.   I added the roasted cherry tomatoes and one can of crushed tomatoes.

You want to cook the whole mixture together until the flavors meld and the tomatoes break down if you're using chopped fresh tomatoes.  In my case, I threw all the roasted veg and crushed tomatoes into the crockpot and heated on high for 2 hours.

You can also add other things to customize your flavors:  chopped olives, anchovy paste, chopped fresh parsley, chopped fresh basil, dried tarragon, a splash of balsamic vinegar, green peppers (roast with your other veg), etc.

Serve however you like: over pasta or rice, spread on bread or crackers, as a side dish, on top of a piece of chicken or fish, etc. 

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