Veggie Entree Recipe: Rough-Cut Ratatouille Featuring Organic Heirloom Garden Veggies

Veggie Entree Recipe: Rough-Cut Ratatouille Featuring Organic Heirloom Garden Veggies

As an entree or side dish, this Ratatouille recipe makes quicker work of the prep with do-ahead tips and using a rough cut.  Ratatouille is an ideal way to use the last of those random, end-of-season garden vegetables combined into one dish. We used organic vegetables from a local Heirloom Garden farm, but store bought do just fine as well. A comfort food that can be dressed up or down for brunches, entrees, or an option for vegetarian guests.  I like having this for serving family style or buffet style brunches because it can be prepared in advance with a quick reheat before serving.

Difficulty level:  Ratatouille is simple to make, it is the veggie slicing that makes it labor intensive. You can use a chopper or slicer to make faster work of the process, but it is also tasty when prepared with a rougher cut. This method makes for a less mushy, soupy version

QUITE A KITCHEN PREP TIP: Prepare the eggplant slices one day before the rest of the prep by frying them in a bit of olive oil and refriderate overnight. This gives them a chance to marninate and makes it easier to prepare the next day.

VEGGIE VARIABLES: Some vegetables are so unique they cry out to be featured in a special way. Have an unusual vegetable variant? Ratatouille is a perfect way to use it to best advantage. Farmer’s Market or Heirloom garden vegetables really shine in a Ratatouille. We got these Japanese eggplants, these long lanky lovelies proved themselves perfect candidates for using as simple slices of about 1.5 inches each.

Vacuum sealing organic vegetables such as these Japanese eggplants keeps them fresh and beautiful looking until cooking
Vacuum sealing organic vegetables such as these Japanese eggplants keeps them fresh and beautiful looking until cooking

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • a 3/4-pound eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 1 small zucchini, scrubbed, quartered lengthwise, and cut into thin slices
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3/4 pound small ripe tomatoes, chopped coarse (about 1 1/4 cups)

optional

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded fresh basil leaves

 

Ratatouille may be made 1 day in advance, kept covered and chilled, and reheated before serving. Can also be served over pasta dressed with olive oil

 

 

 

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