Saturday, November 28, 2009
This is a healthy and delicious version of a french classic. It makes a great side dish and is quick and easy. Leftovers can be stirred into pasta for another meal so that you can cook once but eat twice. The traditional method is a vegetable stew that is made on the stove top. It's not complicated but I prefer to make this in the oven. I like that I can prepare an accompanying dish at the same time that this is cooking. Also I prefer the use of olive oil instead of the butter in the traditional version.
Many recipes say that salting melongene (eggplant) before cooking makes it less bitter but I don't bother. Salt your melongene before hand or not, it's to your taste. I have never found eggplant to be a particularly bitter vegetable and the family never complains when I cook it. However I must warn you that I generally don't entertain complaints when I cook. If it's not charred beyond all recognition, it's considered edible. Furthermore, if you didn't stand around in a hot kitchen but sat in front of the television waiting for your dinner - you are not entitled to an opinion. Just kidding, everyone is entitled to an opinion. However, under the aforementioned set of circumstances you are better off keeping your opinion to yourself! Really.
This is one of those dishes where I don't use measured amounts of anything. I just toss stuff together until it looks to be enough. Feel free to use a little more or a little less - whatever. You can't go wrong with this dish and everyone will love it to the extent where they will be compelled not to keep their opinions to themselves and tell you how much they love it:-)
Oven Roasted Ratatouille (serves 6)
* 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
* 3/4 lb eggplant, cut in chunks
* 1/2 lb zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch rounds
* 1 lb plum tomato, seeded and cut into 4 wedges
* 1 sweet red pepper, cut in large strips
* 1 yellow sweet pepper, cut in large strips
* 1 red bell pepper, diced
* 1 green bell pepper, diced
* 1 yellow pepper, diced
* 2 red onions, quartered
* 1-2 tablespoon olive oil
* 1-2 teaspoon herbes de provence or Italian seasoning
* salt to taste
Place all vegetables and garlic in an oven proof dish. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning and salt. Mix well to coat vegetables.
Bake at 400.c for approx 45 mins until vegetables are tender, check after 1/2 hour and stir to ensure even browning and taste for salt. If your vegetables are particularly juicy you may need to drain a bit of liquid off half way through cooking.
Posted by Wizzy John at 5:31 PM