11 hours ago
Monday, April 27, 2009
Everyone has a different recipe for ratatouille. Some use tomato paste, some use fresh tomatoes, others use basil (La Tartine Gourmande uses tarragon!), and some use herbs de Provence.
There are no rules when making ratatouille, a Provencal vegetable stew.
I make it up as I go and it SO DELICIOUS! I use what I have on hand, sometimes yellow squash or a red onion, the possibilities are endless.....just no mushrooms please! (they just don't belong in this dish).
I guess I just love anything with eggplant in the mix!
1 large red pepper
1 large yellow onion
3 cloves garlic
1 large eggplant (I used a bunch of these cool little "Indian" eggplants)
1 small 14 oz. can of chopped tomatoes, drained
3 tbsp of tomato paste
kosher salt & pepper
1 tbsp of herbs de Provence
(you can add: fresh basil, thyme, parsley or any other fresh herb you like)
Cut all of your vegetables into rough chunks, leaving skins on.
In a large heavy dutch oven or skillet, heat about 3 tbsp of olive oil and add all of your vegetables (except the canned tomatoes and tomato paste), sprinkle with about 2 tbsp of kosher salt (it seems like a lot, but it's not) and cook on high heat for about 10 minutes until vegetables start to soften.
Now add your tomatoes and tomato paste, herbs de provence and fresh herbs if using.
Turn the pan down to a very low simmer and simmer for about 1 hour.
If you like your vegetables soft then cover the pot for the first 45 minutes, if you like them firmer, you can leave the cover off.
This is good served hot or cold. I love to fold it into an omelet or on top of crostini to make a great appetizer.
Here is the most beautiful way to serve ratatouille. From the book The Country Cooking of France by Anne Willan.
OEUFS AU PLAT A LA RATATOUILLE: Baked Eggs with Ratatouille
"When you have leftover ratatouille, spread into a buttered baking dish and make hollows in the middle. Crack your eggs in the holes, drizzle with olive oil and bake in a 425F oven for 15 minutes until eggs are set......."
The possibilities are endless!