I am really lucky to have good friends who live on a beautiful farm in Sonoma. They grow all kinds of vegetables and flowers on their property. Recently, my friend dropped by my house and brought with him a big beautiful bag of home grown veggies that he and his wife grew out there in Sonoma. I was so excited! There were peppers and tomatoes and squash and green beans among other things. My first thought was ratatouille. I had everything but the eggplants but that was no problem since it was farmers market day.
Now, Ratatouille was recently made popular in the states because of the movie by the same name. I love that movie. If you haven’t seen it I recommend watching it for a lighthearted fun movie. Anyway, I grew up eating ratatouille because my mom’s best friend (who is basically my family) is french. Andree makes the best ratatouille! Mine probably is not as delicious as hers but hey, practice makes perfect right?
Here is what I did:
1lb or so of sweet yellow onions diced
6 or 7 cloves of garlic sliced thin
1.5lbs Fresh tomatoes that are very ripe-peeled and seeded
4 or 5 green and yellow squash-chopped
Green, Red, yellow, or orange peppers or a combo-chopped
1 big sprig Rosemary
1 Fresh bay leave
Couple of sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup vegetable broth
Salt & Pepper
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
1st, saute the onions and garlic slices in about 1-2tbs olive oil in a big dutch oven or a pot that can go into the oven. While onions and garlic are sauteeing, place a large saute pan on high heat and add about 1tbs olive oil. Saute the sqaush until browned. Add to dutch oven and then do the same with the rest of the veggies except the tomatoes.
When all of the veggies are added to the onions and garlic bring the temp up to high heat. Add the veg broth and the herbs. Stir well.
Put the pot with the veggies in the oven and bake for 45mins-1 hour. It only took me 45mins but I baked on convection.
Remove the Dutch oven and strain the veggies in a colander over a bowl. Save the liquid. Add the liquid back to the dutch oven and reduce to a thick glaze. Add the veggies back and stir. At this point it is looking pretty good.
Next blanche your tomatoes in boiling water and then plunge into an ice bath. Peel and seed the tomatoes and then crush them by hand into the rest of the veggies. Stir well. Season with S&P. Bring to a boil then turn off heat. At this point your ratatouille is ready to serve. I make mine the day before and refrigerate over night. That way all the flavors meld and blend together.
This morning I had an egg fried in olive oil served over ratatouille with some crusty sourdough toast on the side. Best. Breakfast. Ever.