I hope to be able to try out each of the recipes of editor Carolyn Flournoy, as discussed in the magazine by her daughter, Kate Nicholson, but the one I started with was Ratatouille. Who could argue with that great melting pot of fresh veggies—yellow squash, zucchini squash, red pepper, green pepper, yellow pepper, eggplant, and tomatoes? The author said that as much fun as consuming the dish was listening to her mother say its name—“Ra-tuh-TOO-ee”. I tried it out on my granddaughter, to whom I was serving the Ra-tuh-TOO-ee, with emphasis on the TOO-ee part. She giggled at the odd sound. (But she didn’t buy my tease that it was so named because it contained rat’s tails. Wonder why?)
The author states that all the chopping and dicing (which takes way longer than does the ultimate cooking time) is plenty worth it when the end-result is this fresh veggie dish. I might also add that the recipe fixes worlds! Four to six servings, the recipe tells us, but Hubby and I say this is a way-conservative estimate. Unless you’re preparing to feed a soccer team, you could halve what’s called for and still have an ample amount to serve.
You’ll find yourself stuck on this delightful dish as well as stuck on saying the enticing word Ra-tuh-TOO-ee—fun whether you’re a kid or a kid at heart.
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1/2 pound zucchini
1/2 pound yellow squash
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes (I used the no-salt variety)
1 small eggplant (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
2 tablespoons chopped basil
freshly ground pepper
Cut the first 5 ingredients into 1-inch pieces. In a large skillet over medium heat sauté onion and garlic 5 to 7 minutes or just until onion is tener. Stir in tomatoes and next 2 ingredients. Sauté 8 to 10 minutes or just until eggplant begins to soften. Stir in bell peppers, zucchini, and squash; cover and cook. Stir occasionally and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender and liquid is slightly reduced. Stir in basil. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste and sauté 3 minutes. Makes 4 to 6 servings.