Chef Kristine’s Cookbook
Chef Kristine’s Ratatouille
Ratatouille - a wonderful thing to have in the cold months.
Servings 6 cups
- 1/2 cup good olive oil (not bitter), plus another ¼ cup
- 2 cups onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 3 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 medium red bell pepper destemmed, seeded and diced
- 2 cups golden zucchini diced, (use green zucchini if golden are not available)
- 2 cups Roma tomatoes peeled, seeded and diced
- 1 large eggplant diced
- 1/2 cup chicken stock (or vegetable stock, or water)
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 lemon zest from 1 lemon
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
- 3 tbsp fresh thyme chopped
- 3 tbsp fresh oregano chopped
- 3 tbsp fresh basil chopped
- Heat the olive oil in a medium soup pot over medium heat.Add the onion and stir and cook gently until it is translucent. Next, add the garlic and stir and cook it for a minute or two, it will become aromatic.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and add the tomato paste. Stir and cook the tomato-onion mixture until the tomato paste is darker in color and much thicker- another few minutes. Next, add the diced pepper and stir and cook it gently for a few minutes. Now add the zucchini, cook for a few minutes, then add the tomatoes and cook them for a few minutes. Turn flame to low and allow the vegetables to simmer a bit.
- Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the remaining¼ cup of olive oil and then add the eggplant. Quickly stir and cook the eggplant so it browns evenly on all sides. Add a pinch of salt and continue to cook until the eggplant is soft but not falling apart. Add the cooked eggplant to the other vegetables in the soup pot, then add the stock or water. Allow the stew to cook very slowly- it’s best when it has thickened nicely and is not“soupy”. Slow cooking Season the stew with salt and pepper, then add the lemon zest, juice and the fresh herbs. Serve hot or room temperature. Makes about 6 cups of ratatouille.
Ratatouille has so many possibilities! Try it in an omelet, as a based for fish or poultry, even as a replacement for flat bread. Ratatouille freezes really well, too- a wonderful thing to have in the cold months.