Tag Archives: stew

Speedy Ratatouille

3 Apr

I love this recipe because (a) my kids love it and usually ask for second helpings, (b) it is even better the next day, as with most stews, (c) it is very doable for a weeknight meal, and (d) it is a great vegetarian option.  The original recipe is stellar, so I only made a few changes to make it even more weeknight-friendly.  Serve with lots of crusty bread.

Makes 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 pound eggplant, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
  • 5 large garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 – 28 oz. can diced tomatoes, lightly drained
  • 1  1/2 teaspoon dried sweet basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup crumbled aged goat cheese (or feta if you prefer)

In a large enameled cast-iron casserole or Dutch oven, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil until shimmering. Add the eggplant along with 1/2 tsp. dried basil and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add one-third of the garlic, season with salt and black pepper and cook for 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggplant to a large bowl.

Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to the pot.  Add the zucchini and yellow squash along with 1/2 tsp dried basil and cook over moderate heat until lightly browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Add another one-third of the garlic, season with salt and black pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add the vegetables to the eggplant.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the casserole, along with the onion, bell pepper, and 1/2 tsp dried basil. Cook over moderate heat until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the remaining garlic, season with salt and black pepper and cook for 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes and the reserved vegetables and cook over moderate heat until the tomatoes have broken down and the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest and juice. Transfer to bowls and sprinkle with the goat cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

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