Friday, June 7, 2013


A traditional French side dish, we serve it here as a main course over pasta.  The first time we made this dish was many years ago, before we lived out on the farm.  We had a garden out here, but still lived in the city and only gardened on weekends, when we could get out to the country.  Tom had gone out of town and I went out to water and weed the garden, and discovered that the eggplant, zucchini, and tomatoes were ready to pick!  We had already pulled up a bunch of onions and garlic, so I wanted to surprise Tom by making something that was totally out of our garden that night for dinner.  I hunted through all of my cookbooks (exactly two, I believe – this was in the days before food blogs, or recipe sites on the Internet!)  The only thing I found that incorporated all of these vegetables was Ratatouille.  It was pretty good (and yes, Tom was surprised) but now he has put his magic touch on it and it’s even better!  We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.  We served over egg noodles, but it's good over whatever kind of pasta you like, or rice.

Fresh ingredients for Ratatouille from our garden.

Finished dish.

3 tbl. olive oil
2 large onions, sliced into ¼” rings
3 cloves of garlic, peeled & chopped
2 zucchini, cut into ½” cubes
2 yellow squash, cut  into ½” cubes
3 medium bell peppers, diced
¼ cup sherry
2 Bay leaves
2 tbl. fresh parsley, chopped
4 springs fresh thyme leaves
¼ lb. mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 medium Eggplant, cut into  ½” cubes
8 Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped (we used cherry tomatoes this time because we had so many)
salt & pepper to taste
good pinch of crushed red pepper
Parmesan cheese
Pasta of your choice

·         Add 2 tbl. of the olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium (we used a stovetop Wok)
·         Sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil until lightly browned (stirring often), then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside
·         Sauté the squash, zucchini, and bell pepper in the same olive oil (add a little more olive oil as needed during this process), and remove with a slotted spoon and set aside
·         Deglaze the pan drippings with the sherry, cook and stir until most of the liquid is gone
·         Add the Bay leaves, parsley, and thyme to the pan and cook about 3 minutes (stirring constantly)
·         Put the sautéed vegetables back into the pan
·         Add the mushrooms and eggplant to the pan
·         Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes, stirring often
·         Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper and continue cooking 10 more minutes
·         Remove the Bay leaves
·         Top with a little Parmesan cheese and serve hot over pasta (or as a side dish).  Makes 6-8 servings.

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