Ratatouille (rat-tat-too-wee) isn't just an animated film, it's an amazing vegetable stew that is full of flavor (and fiber!). Ratatouille is a dish that originated from the Provence region of France and is quite a popular way to use extra vegetables. It's easy to prepare and consists of seasonal summer vegetables, garlic, and olive oil. It's definitely a great dish to make with your farmers' market veggie surplus or veggie leftovers!
There are a few ways to prepare it, all leading to the same end product:
- sautee all vegetables together until all the vegetables are soft
- layer all the vegetables like you would a lasagna, and then bake it in the oven (Julia Child-style!)
- layer all the vegetables in a large pot and simmer it
- throw all the ingredients into a crockpot in the morning, come home to a delicious vegetable stew later on!
You can cut the veggies into large pieces, rough chop them into tiny pieces, or slice them and arrange them as shown in the photo on the right (from acleanbake.com). No matter how you want to do it, it will be super easy. You can eat it as a main dish or as a side, add it to pasta, or even use it to fill an omelet. The types of vegetables you decide to use are up to you. CalFresh exists to make it easier for everyone to get healthy, fresh food on the table. Use your dollars to your advantage and check out the farmers' markets that participate in the Market Match program!
Here's a simple ratatouille recipe from Martha Stewart!
- 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large eggplant (1 pound), cut into 1-inch pieces
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 2 large yellow onions (1 pound total), diced large
- 1 head garlic, cloves smashed and peeled
- 2 bell peppers (any color), seeded and diced large
- 2 large zucchini (1 pound total), diced large
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon fresh marjoram or oregano leaves
- 2 to 3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place tomatoes and juices on a rimmed baking sheet and use your hands to break tomatoes into 3/4-inch pieces. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil and bake until thickened, 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a colander, toss eggplant with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Let sit 20 minutes, then squeeze out excess liquid. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat 4 tablespoons oil over medium. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until onions and garlic are soft, 5 minutes. Add peppers and cook, stirring, until crisp-tender, 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Add tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, bay leaf, and marjoram to pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover, and cook at a gentle simmer until vegetables are tender but not mushy, 15 minutes. Season to taste with vinegar, salt, and pepper. Remove bay leaf before serving.