February 5, 2011

Ratatouille Wanna-Be

My first time making ratatouille is my first time actually eating ratatouille.  So while I can give myself points for trying something new, I worry that if this dish went completely haywire, I wouldn’t even know the difference.  You can’t go that wrong with a big skillet of veggies though, right?!   

This dish is titled “wanna-be” because the source from where I pulled the recipe notes that this version doesn’t follow some of the more classic, French varieties, omitting eggplant and a mixture of herbs.  After a few adaptations, my ratatouille is even more of a pretender, but I think it still makes the cut!

Ratatouille Wanna-Be 
Serves 6

What You Need:

2 zucchini, chopped medium
2 yellow squash, chopped medium
1/2 red onion, chopped small
6 large cloves garlic, chopped small
6 red or yellow tomatoes, chopped medium
1 yellow pepper, chopped medium
1 red pepper, chopped medium
3 T. chopped fresh parsley
3 T. chopped fresh savory
(you could use any fresh herbs that appeal to you)
1 t. sugar
1 t. dried oregano
1 T. olive oil, plus more for sautéing
1/2 cup chopped basil

 What You Do:

1.    Heat a small amount of olive oil in large, heavy pan
2.    Add zucchini and yellow squash and sauté 5 minutes
3.    Remove and set aside
4.    Add a bit more olive oil, then add peppers, onions, and garlic
5.    Sauté 3-4 minutes
6.    Add tomatoes to pan, gently combine vegetables, and sauté 5 minutes more.
7.    Add zucchini and yellow squash back into pan with herbs, sugar, olive oil, dried oregano, and season with salt and pepper
8.    Reduce heat to low and cook uncovered one hour
9.    After an hour, add chopped fresh basil, season with sea salt and cook 5-10 minutes more
10.  Serve hot or room temperature

What I Learned:
  1. Unfortunately, I had to augment this recipe a bit: 
    1. I have no clue what savory is, or where I would find it, so I didn’t use any.
    2. With none on hand, I actually had to omit the fresh basil as well
  2. One more dramatic deviation from this recipe is that I only let it cook up for 30 minutes as opposed to the full hour noted above.  I simply ran out of time… but it sure looked done to me!
  3.  What I did NOT learn: I had no clue what to pair with this dish!  I thought that it would be a dish sufficient as an entrée, and while we did eat it as such, it did feel a little bit lacking.
 The Verdict: Ratatouille tastes so much better than it looks!  I really surprised myself on this one… After seeing this dish cook up, and I had pretty much given up on it—looked pretty mushy and not appealing, but I was so wrong!  The husband LOVED it too, and was even quick to request the leftovers for lunch the next day.

Recipe adapted from Kayln's Kitchen.


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