Friday, September 4, 2009

Oven-Roasted Ratatouille

As I have noted a couple times this week, we have a lot of CSA veggies to use up lately. Earlier in the summer when we were getting nothing but kale and collard greens, we were a little worried about how much we were spending and what we were getting, but I have to say that this late summer bounty is totally making up for the sad bags of greens I was bringing home in the late spring.

As for what we’re getting now? Eggplant. Summer squashes. Tomatoes. Basil. Onions. Peppers. Lots and lots of all of these things. The list looks a lot like one of Aaron’s favorite dishes: Ratatouille. So that’s what I made, and it was delicious. I have tweaked a recipe I found last year that was already great, and it turned out spectacular. The heirloom tomatoes that we’ve been getting are amazing, and that definitely helped the flavor of this dish. Besides a little chopping it’s pretty easy. We serve this with a warmed loaf of French bread, and it’s like heaven in a bowl.

Oven-Roasted Ratatouille

Adapted from Kid’s Cuisine

1 green pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 red onion, coarsely chopped

1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

1 patty pan squash (or small zucchini or yellow squash), cut into ¼ inch slices

4 – 6 heirloom tomatoes, coarsely chopped (or 10-12 heirloom cherry tomatoes, quartered)

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 sprigs basil

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste (I use a heavy hand with the salt, and it helps)

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Combine all the ingredients in a 8x10 (or whatever sized dish comfortably fits the vegetables; they shouldn’t be in a single layer, but should fill to about ½ inch short of the top of the dish) baking dish that has been oiled or sprayed with cooking spray. Toss to combine, leaving the sprigs of basil whole. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.

Remove the foil. Stir if needed, and bake for an additional 30 minutes, checking once or twice to see if it needs stirring.

Remove any basil stems and attached leaves. Some will come off during cooking/stirring, and that’s fine. Check for seasoning. Serve with hot bread for dipping in the pan juices.

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