Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Ratatouille


Ratatouille, a traditional french vegetable stew, is a great addition to your healthy summer menus.  It is a wonderful combination of summer vegetables with herbs, and if you are counting points plus, comes in as a zero point side dish.  Delicious with grilled chicken as an accompaniment.


This recipe comes from my cookbook, Williams-Sonoma Essentials of French Cooking.  Ratatouille is much easier to make than it is to pronounce!  It is a one pot stew that can be eaten warm or at room temperature...which is perfect for those warm summer days and evenings.  The original recipe called for fresh tomatoes, but I substituted canned with juices just to make things easier.  You can substitute dried thyme and rosemary if you like, but make sure to use fresh basil...


Give ratatouille a try...and you will be saying ooo la la!  lol


Ratatouille
adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of French Cooking


* I am not going to list nutritional information for this dish, as it is essentially a zero point + food.  The recipe makes approx. 10, 1 cup servings. 

1 - 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes  ( you could certainly use fresh tomatoes as well, about 8 of them, peeled and diced, discarding the seeds )
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil OR misto filled with olive oil OR cooking spray
2 small, sweet onions, chopped
1 med sized eggplant, cut into one inch cubes
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 zucchini, cut into one inch cubes
1 large green pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large red pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 sprigs of fresh thyme ( or 1 tsp. dried ) 
1 sprig of fresh rosemary ( or 1 tsp. dried and crushed ) 
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup minced fresh basil

1.  In a large, heavy saucepan, over medium heat, warm the olive oil or cooking spray.  Reduce heat to med-low and add the onions, and saute until translucent, about 2 minutes. 

2.  Add the eggplant and garlic, and stirring frequently, cook until the eggplant is softened.  ( 3 - 4 minutes) 

3.  Add the zucchini and peppers, and stir frequently until softened, about 4 - 5 minutes.  

4.  Add the tomatoes and the juices from the can, the thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, salt and pepper and cook, stirring and turning about 2 - 3 minutes longer.  

5.  Reduce heat to low and cover.  Cook stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and have somewhat blended together, about 40 minutes.  Stir n the basil and remove from heat.  

Serve hot or at room temperature, garnish with additional fresh basil just before serving. 


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I made this dish a few weeks ago, and there were plenty of leftovers to have for lunches during the week.  I loved having a tasty zero point food in the refrigerator at my disposable.  I think that always makes it much easier to stay on plan during the week.  

I didn't have any, but I imagine, topping this dish with a bit of crumbled goat cheese would be wonderful!  

I also want to give a thanks and a shout out to Marguerite @ Cajun Delights for handing me down some pretty awesome blog awards!  Before the week is out, I will have a list of blogs to hand them down to as well.  Thanks Marguerite!  And if you get a chance to check out her blog, do so....LOTS of wonderful Cajun inspired recipes!  It will make you wish you were living on the bayou!

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9 comments:

  1. I love it! This reminds me of the movie too :)

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  2. Yum! Giant veggie dishes rock...especially as summer approaches and they're more fresh/local. Good stuff! Hope you're having a nice Thursday

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  3. Sounds tasty! Rachel Ray makes a version with balsamic vinegar and a poached egg - I've made her's twice and it's delish! But I'll have to try this recipe too. :)

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  4. @ Holly....oooolala....the addtion of balsamic vinegar and a poached egg sounds absolutely wonderful! I will have to give RR recipe a look! This one is more traditonal, I think. :)

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  5. Yep, goat cheese on top would be a winner!!

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  6. Hi Renee, wow...this looks sooo good!!! I've bookmarked this! (I have so many of your recipes bookmarked...I'd better get cooking!) Have a wonderful day.

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  7. This looks yummy! Do the veggies not get soggy when eaten as leftovers? I was thinking of making this on Sunday and then taking leftovers for lunch throughout the week...

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  8. @ Anna...because they are stewed, they are pretty well cooked to begin with, so they don't get any more soggy than they begin with when you reheat...at least that is what I found. I just quick zapped them in the microwave to reheat in single serving sizes and ate them for lunches myself. :)

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  9. Hi Renee,
    What a beautiful presentation of a classic recipe. We would just love this dish, it looks delicious! Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday, have a great week end and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

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