Wednesday, July 23, 2014

My friend asked for my ratatouille recipe. Here goes

On Jul 23, 2014, at 5:03 PM, Cheryl Richards wrote:

I got a couple of eggplants from my Amish connection today. You and your Mom had a good recipe for them, ratatouille? can you email this to me?

My friend, Cheri, doesn't love fresh garlic, but I assure her and any others with the same feelings that sauteed garlic adds depth. Once it is cooked it loses its intensity. 

1 large onion
3 cloves fresh garlic (when it's cooked you won't really taste it so much), but use powder if you prefer.
1 eggplant (or 2 if small) sliced thin
several zucchini and yellow squash - sliced thin - and cut in half if they are larger
Optional: thinly sliced or shredded carrots
Depending on the quantity of vegetables, 1-2 cans diced tomatoes with juice
Lotsa Italian seasoning - fresh basil if you have it
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese (if you dare) for serving - sprinkle on top. I use nutritional yeast.

Use a large pot.

Saute onion and garlic in a little oil -- or not if the pot is nonstick. Let it brown a little.
Add sliced veggies. Let them brown a little also.
Add diced tomatoes -- if it doesn't seem moist enough add some tomato sauce or veggie broth - as the veggies simmer they will release more water so keep that in mind
Let the tomatoes and veggies simmer for at least 45 minutes til everything is tender
Add seasoning - let simmer a few more minutes.

Serve over couscous (preferred) or rice or pasta.

Just made some the other day (sans eggplant) and this is basically what I did.

ratatouille is one of those dishes that is better the next day

Good luck.

Tips for Preparing Eggplant

When cutting an eggplant, use a stainless steel knife as carbon steel will react with its phytonutrients and cause it to turn black. Wash the eggplant first and then cut off the ends.

Most eggplants can be eaten either with or without their skin. However, the larger ones and those that are white in color generally have tough skins that may not be palatable. To remove skin, you can peel it before cutting or if you are baking it, you can scoop out the flesh once it is cooked.

To tenderize the flesh's texture and reduce some of its naturally occurring bitter taste, you can sweat the eggplant by salting it. After cutting the eggplant into the desired size and shape, sprinkle it with salt and allow it to rest for about 30 minutes. This process will pull out some of its water content and make it less permeable to absorbing any oil used in cooking.

Rinsing the eggplant after "sweating" will remove most of the salt.

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