Friday, May 4, 2012

Ratatouille














1 large sweet onion, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, minced
Olive oil (4-6 Tbsp), divided
Large eggplant, cut in 1 inch pieces (about 4 cups)
2-3 small zucchini, sliced (1/4 inch slices)
1/2 of each: red, green, orange, and yellow bell peppers, chopped in 1/2 inch cubes
3 medium Roma tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 -2 stems of fresh rosemary (stems removed)
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1 tsp. dried oregano, crumbled
1/4 tsp. corriander or cumin (optional)
1 tsp. each of salt and pepper
4-6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
fresh basil leaves, shredded (optional)

Once all the vegetables are chopped, put separately in bowls (do not mix together except the bell peppers), heat 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large wok or pan. Add onions and cook until just tender. Add garlic and cook until tender (about 1 minute more). Remove onion and garlic and place into a large bowl.

Add more oil and stir fry bell peppers until just tender (about 4-5 minutes). Remove and place in same bowl as onion and garlic. Add more oil, if needed, and stir fry zucchini rounds until browned lightly and tender (about 5 minutes), place in the same bowl as onions, garlic and peppers.

Add more oil and stir fry the eggplant in two batches (about 2 cups each). Cook for 5 minutes until tender -- you may need to add more oil as it cooks to keep it from burning. Put cooked eggplant with the other veggies and finish cooking the last batch of eggplant.

As the last eggplant is finishing up, add the fresh rosemary and cook slightly. Add the rest of the spices and stir fry about a minute longer, mixing thoroughly. Dump the cooked veggies in the bowl back into the wok and stir gently to mix the seasoning and veggies together. Turn heat to medium and allow the veggies to simmer slightly. Adjust seasoning, salt and pepper.


Add the chopped tomatoes and gently stir. Allow them to heat and cook only slightly as you do not want them to break down, but rather to stay red and chunky.

Place vegetable mixture into a serving bowl, top with feta cheese and pass additional feta cheese to sprinkle on top.

Serve with toasted Crostini (bread that has been sliced thinly, buttered and toasted in the oven, with or without garlic).

This dish is excellent when made a day in advance and reheated. Or you can eat it cold or at room temperature. When eating, place the ratatouille on top of the bread and eat like Bruschetta.

Serves 6.

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