Ratatouille with Polenta. This is the first time I’ve made Ratatouille. I received a complimentary cookbook Famous Dishes from Around the World that has 30 traditional dishes from various places around the globe, countries in Europe, Asia, South America, the Middle East. I picked French Ratatouille since there is such an abundance of vegetables this time of year, it makes a great summer dish. I changed a few things from the original recipe, for example the recipe had 10 cloves of garlic and I used 3, because I can’t handle too much garlic, as much as I like the flavor. I also used 2 cans of diced tomatoes rather than using marinara sauce and tomato paste. In any case it came out really good! I’ve had good and bad Ratatouille and this was definitely good. It tastes very fresh.
I like the cookbook, it’s fun and all the recipes are fairly easy, and it has some cooking tips as well. I love all kinds of food so I think I would be happy to make any of these recipes. I want to try the Moroccan Tagine with Chicken next! Oh and It’s bilingual, each recipe is in English and Spanish, so if you’re learning either language you might enjoy this. The Ratatouille recipe here is vegetarian, but you could easily add some meat if you like. If you do add something like sausage, simply cook the meat first in the pot, then remove and add it in later with all the vegetables. Enjoy!
1 large eggplant, 1” slices
1/2 cup olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
10 cloves garlic, minced (I used 3 cloves of garlic)
2 large beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 1” cubes
2 medium zucchini, sliced
2 medium yellow squash, sliced
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
3 bell peppers (red, green and yellow), cut 1” pieces
2 14oz cans of diced tomatoes
5 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups fresh basil
2 teaspoons fresh or dried oregano (or rosemary if you prefer)
2 teaspoons fresh or dried thyme
Salt & pepper to taste
(Note: the original recipe cooks each vegetable separately in another pan, then added to the larger pot, I cooked everything in one pot and it worked out fine)
Place eggplant slices on paper towels and sprinkle slices with salt for one hour to make them sweat. Blot them dry with a paper towel. Cut into quarters.
In a large dutch oven cook the eggplant in some olive oil until about half way cooked. Add the onions, garlic and tomato to the pot, sauté a few minutes until soft. Add the zucchini, squash, mushrooms, peppers, adding more olive oil as needed. Cook for 5 more minutes or so. Stir in the cans of tomatoes and the herbs (save some basil for garnish). Cover the pot and cook for about 30 minutes on a very low heat, stirring every so often.
While the Ratatouille is simmering prepare the Polenta.
Serves 6-8 (This completely filled my dutch oven and I could not add one more thing, so it makes quite a bit!)
Recipe adapted from Famous Dishes from Around the World: Healthy, Tasty, and Affordable
1 cup Polenta (I use Bob’s Redmill Polenta Corn Grits)
1 cup water
1 cup milk
1 cup chicken stock
Bring water, milk and chicken stock to a boil, stir in the polenta, then reduce heat to low. Cook for 5 minutes, then let it sit for a few more minutes until ready to serve.