Ratatouille

[Posting the recipe for K.]

Truly, this is the only civilized way to eat eggplant.

Ingredients

  • Equal parts zucchini and eggplant. I usually use two small zucchinis and one moderate sized European eggplant. (Asian eggplants — the long skinny ones — are nice if you want to do the movie recipe, but I personally feel they have a bitter taste that detracts from the soup)
  • One red bell pepper. (I started with green, but red is a nicer colour)
  • A lot of garlic. I usually use between 1/2 head and a whole head depending upon the strength of the garlic.
  • About 5-6 average sized tomatoes. There’s usually just slightly more tomato than eggplant.
  • (Optional) One medium yellow onion.
  • Some fresh herbs. Personally, I prefer some thyme and a sprinkle of basil.
  • Generous salt.
  • Some liquid, more about that later.

Crockpot:

  1. Cut everything to about the same size and stir so that it’s well mixed.
  2. Add a little bit of liquid. Crockpots need some liquid to start, but only a tiny bit. I usually use a splash of red wine. Sometimes I use faux-chicken stock. By splash, I mean about a quarter cup.
  3. My crockpot had four settings, short, short and hot, long, long and hot.
    I had the best results with long, next best with short and hot.

Stock pot:

  1. Chop the onion first, and let it caramelize on a low heat while you cut the zucchini and eggplant.
  2. Turn up the heat to medium, and fry the eggplant/zucchini combo for as long as it takes to cut the tomatoes.
  3. Make a ‘hole’ in the middle of the mix, crank the heat, and toss in the tomatoes. Stir this for about 3 minutes. I don’t know why exactly, but I’ve always found that my sauces and soups are a little better if you fast fry the tomatoes. I think maybe it lets out the liquid.
  4. Add some liquid to the pot. A regular pot needs a bit more liquid, I used about a half cup give or take depending on how liquidy the tomatoes are.
  5. Add everything else and stir.
  6. Turn down to a simmer and cook for about 40 minutes.

Tips:
I read a recipe recently that suggests adding a bit of cayenne. This is totally awesome, and therefore is strongly recommended.

A french friend of mine, living in Vancouver, serves this dish over rice. I like this as well, but I think that my current coworkers would scoff. If you serve over rice, cut the veggies a little smaller.

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2 thoughts on “Ratatouille

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