TILLAMOOK COUNTY WELLNESS: Ratatouille (Recipe – for all those veggies!)

Here is a recipe from Rinehart Clinic Art of Eating class (adapted from Alice Water’s The Art of Simple Food) for all those veggies …

Ingredients:
1 medium eggplant
3 medium zucchini
3 medium ripe tomatoes
1 large onion
1 large red pepper
4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4-6 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 bunch of basil, tied with kitchen twine (a “bouquet”)
6 basil leaves, chopped
pinch of dried chile flakes
salt to taste

Directions:

Dice eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, onion, and red pepper into half- to three-quarter inch cubes. Keep vegetables separate.
Place eggplant cubes in a bowl and sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt and set in a colander to drain for about 20 minutes.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Pat the eggplant dry, add to the pan, and cook over medium heat until browned, stirring frequently. Remove the eggplant when done and set aside.
In the same pot, pour in 2 more tablespoons olive oil. Add onions and cook for about 7 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic, basil, dried chile flakes, and a pinch of salt. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then stir in the peppers. Cook for a few more minutes, then stir in the zucchini. Cook for a few more minutes, then stir in tomatoes. Cook for 10-15 minutes, then stir in eggplant and cook for 10-15 minutes more until all vegetables are soft. Remove the bouquet of basil and adjust the seasoning with salt, if needed. Stir in the chopped basil leaves and add a little more olive oil to taste.
Serve warm or cold. (This is one of those dishes that tastes even better on the second or third day.)