Ratatouille du marché
Jul.24.11 § 1 Comment
Ratatouille is my absolute favorite summer dish. It’s ideal for using up all the fresh vegetables from gardens or farmers markets. For years, I was spoiled with the bounty of my Dad’s farm. One summer day in 2007, while wondering what to do with all the zucchini and eggplant I had been given and simultaneously trying to beat the heat by hiding in my air-conditioned bedroom watching Netflix, I was inspired. By an animated film. About a rat who makes ratatouille. I’m sure you’re familiar. If not, get familiar.
As soon as I watched the movie I was hellbent on making the dish just like Remy did. And for a long time I did, thanks to a recipe I found on my favorite blog, Smitten Kitchen. But now, living in the city on a budget and far away from my family, I have no farm bounty. And until I marched myself down to the farmers market that crops up once a week in the middle of my urban jungle, I had forgotten just how much I loved this dish and the vegetables that go into it. Just the smell alone is almost as wonderful as the taste.
This recipe is a reincarnation of the old. It’s not traditional. It’s not even how I used to make it. I didn’t even use herbes de Province or fresh tomatoes. I just used what I had – some seasonal herbs and a can of tomatoes. And it was still the delicious epitome of summer that I remembered. I served it on crusty french bread fried in olive oil for a fun, indulgent twist. I named it ratatouille du marché, which I think (based on what I’ve learned so far in beginner French) means ratatouille from the market.
Ratatoiulle du marché
- 2 T olive oil
- 3 small or 1 large eggplant, cubed
- 1 large zucchini, cubed
- 1 large yellow squash, cubed
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 15oz can of whole tomatoes
- fresh oregano and/or basil to taste
Toss the cubed eggplant, zucchini and squash in salt and place in a sieve to drain until the pot is ready. In a medium size pot or dutch oven, sweat the onion in the olive oil until just tender. Add the tomatoes, crushing with your hands as you pour them into the pot. Simmer until the tomatoes thicken a bit, about 10 minutes. Rinse the fresh vegetables and add them to the pot. Stir and continue to simmer until vegetables are just tender but still firm to the bite and vibrantly colored. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve on crusty bread, fried in olive oil if you like.