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I can’t believe I just typed “end of summer.”

Eggplant, zucchini and summer squash have been plentiful in CSAs, and at the Salem NH Farmers Market, this summer. It was time to make some ratatouille, a traditional French Provençal stewed vegetable dish, which is hearty enough to stand on its own as a main dish. I simply sauté all the ingredients together, which may cause Julia Child to scold me. She liked to layer flavors, cooking eggplant and zucchini separately while creating a sauce from tomatoes, onion, garlic and bell pepper, and then layering each in a baking dish. Some cooks may strain the resulting broth. I reserve the broth for additional use.

Think of the famous low-calorie, low-point vegetable soup recipe. Add some vegetable broth to this liquid along with some of the cooked vegetables. Thicken some of the sauce to use as liquid for ratatouille pot pies. Instead of pot pie, I made individual rustic tarts.

Make enough ratatouille so that you will have leftovers.

ratatouilleWhat you need:

  • 5 tbs EVOO
  • 1 Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 2 sm eggplants, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 summer squash, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 2 red peppers, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 7-8 heirloom tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbs chopped fresh herbs
  • Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper

What you do:

  • Heat EVOO over med heat in cast iron skillet.
  • Add onion and cook until softened, stirring occasionally.
  • Add garlic and eggplant.
  • Cook until eggplant has softened, about 8-10 min, stirring occasionally.
  • Add zucchini, squash, pepper and tomatoes.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cook until zucchini is softened, about 8 min.
  • Add herbs and cook another min or two.