Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Yummy, yummy veggies...

My house smells sooo good right now...  ugh, so good, I can't stand it!  "Why?" you ask.  Well, I have some ratatouille in the oven!  I've made a weird ratatouille-like-dish in the past that always *tasted* good, but the vegetables came out soggy and stew-like.  I'm hoping that this new-and-improved version does the trick. 

I started out with a basic knowledge (thanks to Food Network) that ratatouille consists of E-Z-POT.  That is, Eggplant, Zucchini, Peppers, Onions and Tomatoes.  So, that's where my original recipe came from: a basic understanding of cooking and all of those veggies.  Tonight, I decided to look up a few recipes and I came up with something new as a result...

Ratatouille (my way)

  • medium eggplant
  • 3 small-medium zucchinis (or courgettes, if you're fancy like that)
  • 2 bell peppers (pick whatever color(s) you like, I used red because I got 'em on sale CHEAP)
  • 3 small onions (or 2 medium ones....  or one really big one.  Whatever works for you)
  • 4 medium tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • 6 oz. can of tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • sea salt 
  • black pepper 
  • herbes de provence (I used Italian seasoning, because I wasn't prepared)
  • balsamic vinegar
Dice all of your veggies and tomatoes into about 1" pieces (I do this *very* roughly, because I like my food "rustic").  Toss them all into a roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil.  Season to taste with salt pepper and herbs.  Sprinkle sugar over everything (this cuts some of the acidity of the tomatoes).  Plop 1/2 the can of tomato paste into the veggies and get ready to get your hands dirty!  Rub the tomato paste into the veggies until they look evenly coated.

In a small bowl, mix together remaining half of the tomato paste with about 1 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar, 1 Tbsp of olive oil and 1/4 cup of water (or enough to get it to a slightly thick "saucy" consistency).

Bake at 350*.

After 20 minutes, toss the veggies with the tomato-balsamic sauce and bake for another 20-30 minutes, or until the veggies are done to your liking.

...after eating dinner...

Yeah, this was amazing.  Really, really good, hearty stuff.  We ate it with pasta tonight, but it totally didn't need the pasta.  I'm looking very forward to eating the leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

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