Am I ever impressed with the amount of work I accomplished around the house on Sunday.
I kicked the morning off by putting the finishing touches on the new floor and door trim I installed on the main floor of our house, then I scampered off to the kitchen…
I first baked a couple loaves of chocolate zucchini cake, which turned out to be pretty darn tasty. While the loaves were in the oven, I gathered some garden ingredients from the back yard and put a delish ratatouille together (which was made in advance for dinner on Monday). I finished off my day by making my signature broiled Cajun Salmon with roasted potatoes and carrots and steamed asparagus with a spicy Spanish dressing.
If anyone is interested, I would be happy to post the recipes on the blog.
But, this post is all about the ratatouille.
Since it’s harvest time for gardens here in Ontario, we have been searching for ways to use up all the zucchini and eggplant we’re getting from the garden. So, my wife found this delicious ratatouille recipe from http://www.epicurious.com.
We grew the zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, and basil from the image you see to the left, so all we needed were a couple other items from the grocery store to supplement – pepper, onion, and garlic.
Side Note: I’ve grown peppers in the past, but our growing season just isn’t long enough to let the peppers grow this big. We also found garlic growing in the back yard when we moved in, but I got rid of it as I gradually renovated the back yard.
This recipe is very simple to make. It takes about ten minutes (by my amateur chef standards) to chop and prep the ingredients, and it takes about half an hour to cook. It is best cooked an chilled a day before you plan to eat it.
- 1 onion, sliced thin
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- a 3/4-pound eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
- 1 small zucchini, scrubbed, quartered lengthwise, and cut into thin slices
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 3/4 pound small ripe tomatoes, chopped coarse (about 1 1/4 cups)
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
- 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
In a large skillet cook the onion and the garlic in 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened.
Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil and heat it over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking. Add the eggplant and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes, or until the eggplant is softened.
Stir in the zucchini and the bell pepper and cook the mixture over the moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 12 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
Stir in the oregano, thyme, coriander, fennel seeds, and salt & pepper to taste and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute.
Stir in the basil and combine the mixture well.
The ratatouille may be made 1 day in advance, kept covered and chilled, and reheated before serving.
And, here’s the final product…
I would have liked to have served this with a loaf of fresh baked bread, but I forgot to make it. Perhaps I’ll make the bread today to go with the leftovers. However, we made a couple amazing loaves of zucchini cornbread on Saturday that went quite well with this dinner.
Cooking is something I love to do so I hope to share more recipes (whether successful or not) with you. I would also love to find out about some of the great recipes you eat in your homes and perhaps add them to my repertoire.