Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The summer favorite: ratatouille


A timeless summer favorite when the zucchini, beans, tomatoes, bell peppers and herbs are plentiful in the garden and at the Farmers market. It does not need much more then a TB of good olive oil, and it will steam away to a tender bite in its own juices, caramelizing it to a sweet flavorful dish (or, short cooked, with some original vegetable crunch). A meal in itself, a side, a pasta sauce, great with goat cheese or mozzarella and a glass of cabernet. Summer!

1 zucchini, cut into thick cubes
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into stripes
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into stripes
1/3 red onion, diced
1/2 summer squash, cut into thick cubes
a handful cherry tomatoes, halved
handful yellow beans, ends cut off
1 TB extra-virgin olive oil with persian lime
salt, pepper, 2 springs of fresh rosemary (chopped), fresh basil (chiffonade)
1-2 large garlic cloves, grated
Mrs. Dash garlic and herbs
fresh grated parmesan cheese

Prepare all the vegetables (wash and cut them). In a heavy dutch oven, heat the olive oil and saute the onion until translucent and then add all the vegetables, and close the lid (important! ---- the purpose is to saute the veggies in their own steam and not add additional liquid). After 5 min, stir, and add the salt, pepper and fresh herbs and the garlic. Saute for another 5-10min, depending on how much crunch you like in your veggies. Serve with some fresh grated parmesan cheese!

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