Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ratatouille - The Dish That Keeps on Giving

I made this classic french vegetable stew for the first time after reading the book French Women Don't Get Fat.  By the way, after I read this book I had this inexplicable need to run out the store and buy leeks and a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne which is now my favorite bottle of bubbly.  Hmmm - I wonder how much their champagne sales jumped after this book was published.  Anyway, this simple ratatuoille is a gift that keeps on giving.  I do make a very large batch because not only do I get several meals within the first few days, but I also freeze some to enjoy another time.  The first time around I eat it like a bowl of stew garnished with lots of fresh basil and a little shaved parmesan cheese. (I use a potato peeler on a fresh piece of parmesan). I have also served this next to sauteed chicken, over pappardelle noodles, used it as an omelette stuffing, frittata stuffing, or my favorite as a pizza sauce topped with mozzarella and goat cheese. Yum, I will definitely write a post this.  Now, I'm really looking forward to having this pizza - it's my favorite!  There is one thing I forgot to mention on Recipezaar and that is to not over stir or over cook this dish otherwise you end up with mush.  So I definitely cook it on the lowest possible flame, and only stir once half way through very gently.  Bon Appetit!



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Ratatouille

2 lbs eggplant, diced (about 3 medium)
2 lbs zucchini, diced (about 6 medium)
2 (1 lb) cans diced tomatoes
1 bulb of garlic
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
freshly chopped parsley or basil, for garnish

1) Dice the eggplant in 1 inch pieces, sprinkle with salt and set aside in a colander lined with paper towel to let the eggplant sweat out its bitterness.
2) Dice zucchini in 1 inch pieces.
3) Using a garlic press, squeeze the cloves of an entire bulb of garlic into a small bowl.
4) Using fresh paper towel blot the eggplant dry.
5) Add two tablespoons of oil to a large stock pot.
6) Add half of the eggplant to the stock pot.
7) Add half of the zucchini to the stock pot.
8) Add one can of tomatoes to the stock pot.
9) Sprinkle half of the garlic over the tomatoes.
10) Sprinkle this layer with a large pinch of salt and pepper.
11)  Layer the other half of the ingredients in the same order topping the tomatoes with another large pinch of salt and pepper.
12) Simmer on low heat for two hours giving the stew a good stir after the first hour.
13) Serve with freshly chopped parsley or basil for garnish






1 comment:

  1. This was very good! I had never cooked with eggplant before, and it was delicious! :) I did find that the spices gave it a very "Italian" flavor, though, so I think I'll play with the seasonings a bit. I threw in about 6 frozen chicken tenderloins in the last 20 minutes of simmering and it all came out perfectly cooked. Overall, a wonderful and simple dish!

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