Sunday, September 20, 2009

Recipe - Ratatouille

A perfect recipe to combine those abundant end of summer veggies. This quick and easy version makes a large batch, about 10 cups, enough to eat some this week plus freeze the rest to eat later during the winter.

Ingredients:

• 1 large onion, chopped
• 6 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 small or 1 large eggplant, diced
• 4-6 large tomatoes (or can substitute 1-15 ounce can stewed tomatoes)
• 1 medium zucchini diced into large chunks
• 1 medium size yellow summer squash, dice into chunks
• 2-3 sweet peppers, assorted colors, seed and then dice into chunks
• 1-2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs
• ~1-2 Tbsp. olive oil (just enough to sauté onion/garlic)
• salt and pepper to taste (not much is needed)


Directions:

• Sauté the onion and garlic until tender
• Add eggplant and tomatoes, bring to simmer
• Simmer, covered for 15 minutes
• Add zucchini
• Simmer for 10-15 more minutes until vegetables are soft but not mushy
• Remove from heat
• Stir in the herbs, season to taste


Serve over:

• Rice, bulgur, cous-cous, or any cooked whole grain
• Pasta
• Baked or boiled potatoes
• Fish (one of my favorites - just spread on top of salmon filets and put into the oven to bake together)
• Add to some plain hummus

You could also add diced chicken, sauteed firm tofu, tempeh, and more seasonal vegetables (next time I will add some fresh corn cut off the cob). The dish may be topped with grated cheese at the time of serving, or put the grated cheese into a side dish so that vegans can pass if desired.

I saved about 1 cup to cook with salmon tomorrow and froze the rest in 2-1 quart containers.

I'll end with a grace appropriate to the ending of the growing season as we contemplate all the work that has gone into the planting and tending to bring us the 'fruit of the earth' to nourish both our bodies and our spirits:

Bless, O Lord, the plants,
the vegetation,
and the herbs of the field,
that they may grow
and increase to fullness
and bear much fruit.
And may the fruit of the land
remind us of the spiritual fruit
we should bear.

~~ Coptic Orthodox liturgy (the Church of Egypt, established in AD 42)

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

5 comments:

Elizabeth and Patrick said...

I was thinking of you today, Diana, on this gloriously clear sunny-aired day in the Northeast. I was reminding myself to savor the moments, and ate my lunch outside in the back yard after coming home from yoga class. Your zest for life and love of food are always inspiring !!
Elizabeth from Phoenicia, NY

Nancy Kennedy said...

Hi Diana, I made a big batch of ratatouille yesterday...almost the exact same recipe, only I was able to also use fresh oregano, basil and parsley from my garden. I served it over whole wheat penne pasta with a little fresh grated Parmesan and it was yummy.

Diana Dyer said...

Elizabeth,
I often eat my lunch outside, sitting on the steps to my deck in the sun, with my dog also lounging in the sun while I watch the frogs in our tiny backyard pond (some days we have 10 frogs!). I can think of no place better to eat every day. I'll be sorry to leave this tiny pond when we move, which we have made and is not yet even really completed.

Nancy,
I cannot wait until we move and I no longer have all my herbs spread out between 3 gardens! Next year when I make this recipe, I'll be able to walk out of my door (front or back) and harvest all the fresh herbs that I'll need for my ratatouille.

I cooked the salmon tonight and will post the pix as soon as I download this batch of photos.

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

krexing said...

I just came across your blog while searching for some nutritional information for my little guy (my nine months old baby boy, that is), and I really enjoyed it. I think what you're doing is great. As a young mom, it makes me happy to see people like you doing what they can to make our food system and environment better, not only for us, but for the generations to come. I hope 20 years from now my little boy still understands where food comes from and how it's grown! With more people like you, hopefully he will.

Good luck to you -- and happy eating!

Katy Rexing

Diana Dyer said...

HI Katy,
Thanks for finding my blog and posting your heart-warming comment. I sure am trying, both for all of us here and now, your 9-month old son, and hopefully all those future generations, too. I'll bet that your son will know where good food comes from. I'll even bet that he'll know his farmers! Thanks again for visiting. Please come back often.
Diana