June 10, 2015
Ratatouille is a tasty vegetable stew from Provence, served either hot or cold, as a main course, or to garnish grilled meat or fish dishes. It involves a lot of chopping…endless chopping, but end result is a delicious ‘n nutritious dish that I LOVE!
Blanch fresh tomatoes by placing tomatoes into a pot of boiling water (keeping the tomatoes submerged for 20 seconds), remove to a cold water bath. Peel the skin, and slice, widthwise, into 1 ½ cm rounds.
Heat a large non-stick skillet with olive oil over medium heat. When nice and hot sauté the minced garlic for 1 minute (don't brown), then add the onion, bay leaf, and 2 sprigs of thyme (or dry thyme), and cook down the onions until they are soft but not browned. Then, add the peppers and a nice, big pinch of salt. Allow the peppers to cook-down to the point that they are soft.
Layer the zucchini and tomato slices on top, alternating in a decorative circle and overlapping each zucchini and tomato over the next piece very tightly. Follow the shape of the casserole dish for the pattern. Sprinkle some salt, a little black pepper and Herbs de Provence on top.
Cover the dish with tin-foil and place in the oven for 45 minutes 45 Minutes. After that time, remove tin-foil and bake for another 20 minutes 20 Minutes, or until all of the excess liquid in the pan is absorbed. Remove, let cool for a few minutes, garnish with fresh thyme or basil and enjoy!
*I’ll make the Herbes de Provence Spice Blend for you one day real soon. It’ll be available at the online store - just let me know when you need it!
In the meantime…here’s how to make your very own Herbs de Provence, the famous mixture of herbs commonly found in the south of France. Mix together 1 tsp. dried thyme, 1 tsp. ground rosemary, 1 tsp. summer savory, 1/2 tsp. lavender (optional but traditional), 1 tsp. marjoram, 1 tsp. dried basil, ½ tsp. dried sage, ½ tsp. dried oregano. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Crush slightly with a mortar & pestle or the back of a spoon. Store in an airtight container and love your taste of France.
We’ve designed a handy ‘from the heart’ kitchen confidence rating scale for you to guide you through the recipes (yep, we think of everything)!
= Everyday deliciously simple. Pretty quick, just get the food on the table pronto!
= Put your heart into it! Takes a little more time ‘n TLC!
= Go the extra mile! Gourmet – takes time and/or special ingredients and/or technique – worth the extra effort for the impressive WOW factor!
= You walk on water! You must be a Chef!
We’ve designed a handy budget rating scale for you to guide you (and your wallet) through the recipes. Recipes are graded from the ‘high-end caviar-type budget’ to the ‘lower-end spam canned meat type-budget’.
= Spam (aka low budget)
= Mac ‘n Cheese (aka mid budget)
= Filet Mignon (aka higher budget)
= Caviar (aka expensive…but you’re worth it!)