Writers get writer’s block, and folks who cook get… knife block (ha!)? Whatever it is, I’ve had a case of it for the last few days. I try hard to make recipes that don’t require me to buy a ton of new ingredients, but I hadn’t been able to find one that I was interested in making. I finally decided to go through my cookbooks page by page and see what I could find.
And what do ya know – there’s a delicious ratatouille recipe in a cookbook that I bought at Monkey See, Monkey Read in Northfield, MN years ago. Bon appetit!
- 2 1/2 cups eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 tsp salt
- Lots of olive oil
- 1 cup yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 cup zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 2 cups thinly sliced onion (about one large onion)
- 10 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 (28 oz) can peeled Italian tomatoes
- 1/2 cup firmly packed torn basil leaves
- Salt and pepper
- Place eggplant in a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with teaspoon salt. Cover with wax paper and set two soup cans on top. Let sit for 30 minutes, and pat dry when time is up.
- Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add some olive oil (level of heat and amount of oil really depend on how hot your pan/burner is…). Cook the yellow squash and zucchini together until tender and light brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- In the same skillet, add more oil and red and green peppers. Cook until tender and lightly browned – about 7 minutes. Set aside.
- Add more oil and cook eggplant until tender and lightly browned (are you seeing a trend here?). Set aside.
- Add more oil to the skillet and cook the onion for about 5 minutes. They will soften and start to turn ever so slightly brown. Add the garlic and cook for five more minutes.
- Add the canned tomatoes, breaking them into the pan (and being careful not to squirt juice ALL OVER). Raise the heat to high and cook the onion/garlic/tomato mix until it thickens up a bit. This is the part where it starts to smell amazing. Mmmm…
- Add the squash, peppers, and eggplant, and cook for about 3 minutes. Stir inthe basil and cook for one minute longer.
- Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper. Add more olive oil to the vegetables before serving, if desired.
I highly recommend enjoying this with some slices of toasty baguette.
Source: Adapted from It’s All American Food by David Rosengarten