Tuesday, February 1, 2011

eating my vegetables: ratatouille

Can I tell you, (wanna be)writer's block sucks?  I have these ideas.  They are floating around in my head.  I metaphorically go to catch one and as soon as I try to form a sentence, I can actually see it disappear into nothingness, like when the two year old pops a bubble with the tip of her finger.  

I still have to eat my vegetables though and fortunately, produce is real and finite, just waiting for me to transform it, usually with a sharp instrument and heat, into something better.  And so I do.

"Whatever's in the 'Fridge" Ratatouille
extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 Japanese eggplants, half inch cube
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 large yellow peppers, half inch cube
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup chicken broth (or water.  hmmm... or maybe white wine? next time.)
1 can chopped Italian tomatoes with juice
dried thyme (1/2 tsp?)
1/2 cup fresh basil, chiffonade 
cubed mozzarella cheese (or a sick of sting cheese cut up =)
crushed red pepper
fresh ground pepper

Cover the bottom of a large pot with olive oil and heat over medium.  Add onion and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft.  Add eggplant, saute another 5 minutes, stirring occaionally. (If pot seems dry, add more olive oil.)  Season well with salt and pepper.  Add garlic and saute for one minute more.  Add chicken broth and bell peppers.  Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice.  (You may need to add more liquid as it boils off.)  Add tomatoes and thyme, bring to a boil and simmer partially covered for 20 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed and vegetables are soft.  Stir in basil and remove from heat. Portion into bowl(s) and stir in chunks of mozzarella to create gooey goodness.  Sprinkle with crushed red pepper and fresh ground pepper.  (I like a course grind.)

Cook's Notes
1.  I also like this over a tube pasta, with a generous sprinkling of parmesan cheese.
2.  Also good as a side with grilled steak or chicken.
3.  I trim some of the skin off the eggplant.
4.  If everyone in your family likes heat, add the red pepper flakes with the salt and pepper.

{forgot to add the cheese on my second helping!}


  1. How timely. I was just sitting here catching up on blogs, thinking about what I was going to make for dinner tomorrow and what I needed to get at the grocery store.

    I think it's a sign. . .

  2. I will have to try and make this soon. Thanks for sharing!