We’re in the peak of the season now – an unbelievable bounty of tomatoes, sweet peppers, fresh basil, and summer squash still going strong. This week I took all these lovely ingredients (and some) and made a Root Radical ratatouille! It’s a dish that takes no more than 30-45 minutes to cook, and can be eaten as-is, with pasta, with poached/fried eggs, or as an appetizer on toasted baguette. It’s the taste of late summer, and it sure tastes good.
More Magnificent Meal Musings:
- Caramelized Onion, Zucchini, and Sweet Corn Pizza
- Caramelized Onion and Chickpeas (from this week’s blog post last year)
- Tomato and Sweet Corn Salad with Feta and Fresh Basil
- Roasted Broccoli with Creamy Dill Sauce
- Hummus with Grilled Veggies and Pita
Root Radical Ratatouille
Ratatouille is a classic and simple meal – serve it on toasted bread, over pasta, with eggs, or simply as a stew with bread. I decided to make mine on the stove top instead of the oven, to save my apartment form heating up even more. The stove top method does mean that you spend a bit more time with the veggies, cooking in batches. But it's well worth it! A great way to enjoy the bounty of tomatoes and summer squash.
- 2 zucchini or summer squash, diced medium
- 1-3 eggplant, depending on the size, diced medium (optional – I didn't use any)
- 2 sweet peppers, diced medium
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups fresh tomatoes, diced, grated, or pureed
- 1 sprig fresh or dried thyme (optional – I had some I'd dried from a few shares ago)
- handful basil leaves, cut in ribbons
- olive oil, as needed
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat a dutch oven or large pan with high lids over medium-high heat. Add enough olive oil to cover the bottom. When oil shimmers, add in eggplant (if using) and sprinkle in salt. Cook until browned, and transfer to a large bowl.
Add a bit more olive oil to the pan. Add zucchini and a bit more salt, and allow to cook until browning. Transfer to the bowl with the eggplant.
Add in more oil, and put onion and fennel in. Cook until softened. Be sure to scrape up some of the browned veggie pieces from the pan. the onion and fennel should get a bit tender and slightly browned from the veggies cooked previously. Add in sweet pepper and garlic, and cook for another 2 minutes.
Add tomato, thyme (is using), balsamic (if using) and reserved eggplant and zucchini. Stir to combine, and then cover and let stew for 20-30 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Remove the thyme sprig. Serve with crusty bread, and sprinkled with fresh basil. It's also delicious cool/at room temperature served as a salad or appetizer on toasted baguette.