Thursday, November 25, 2010


This French recipe is so very healthy and satisfying! 
     Its a great dish any time of year.  Ratatouille always sells out when I cook this as a special du jour in a cafe.  Ratatouille simply means a stirred stew.  Ratatouille is usually only made with vegetables and herbs. 
     Recipe:  Saute a little bit of chopped garlic with a splash of olive oil in a stewing pot over medium heat. 
     Add a little bit each coarse chopped celery, onion, leeks and green onions. 
     Cook and stir till the onions are clear and translucent. 
     Add some large coarse cut pieces of: zucchini, yellow squash, chinese long purple eggplant, plum tomato, red bell pepper and yellow Holland yellow bell pepper. 
     Just sizzle and stir the vegetables. 
     Add a little bit each of these spices and herbs: thyme leaf, bay leaf, a pinch of oregano, marjoram, tarragon leaf, chopped fresh basil, rubbed sage, a pinch of cayenne pepper, a pinch of paprika, sea salt and black pepper. 
     Stir the stew so none of vegetables caramelize brown. 
     Add a little vegetable broth and a couple of tablespoons of tomato puree. 
     Bring the stew to a light, gentle boil then immediately reduce the heat to a low simmer. 
     Stir the stew gently occasionally.  (Never cover a ratatouille pot with a lid or the vegetables will cook colorless and mushy!) 
     The ratatouille should be ready after cooking for 35 to 40 minutes.  You want the vegetables to be cooked tender but not mushy. 
     Remove the bay leaf.  Spoon the ratatouille into a bowl and serve as is for a completely vegetarian meal.  You can serve ratatouille au gratin too.  Just sprinkle grated gruyere, swiss, Monterey Jack or your favorite cheese on top of the ratatouille and place the bowl under a broiler till the the cheese just starts to brown lightly on the edges.  (Never let cheese brown completely or the flavor tastes burnt!)  The flavor and aroma of this great ratatouille is overwhelming!  It is delicious!  This is one of the healthiest meals you can eat.  I pictured both the Ratatouille and Ratatouille au Gratin in the photos.  Enjoy this great dish!  ...  Shawna

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