Ratatouille

A wonderful vegan dish using freshly picked vegetables and simmered for 30 minutes. It's delicious hot or cold. Using a mixture of eggplant, zucchini, peppers, onion, garlic and canned fire roasted tomatoes makes this easy to prepare. This recipe by Jacques Pépin ("More Fast Food My Way") is the real deal! His recipe calls for adding 3/4 lbs. of penne pasta, but I leave it out. For a more robust dish (and not vegetarian), add sauteed/browned Linguica sausage at the beginning with the onions.

 To watch Jacques prepare his Ratatouille with Penne click  here   (starts at the 1:58 mark) .

To watch Jacques prepare his Ratatouille with Penne click here (starts at the 1:58 mark).

Recipe

1/4 c. olive oil
1 eggplant, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 zucchini, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 green pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 c. onions, chopped (3/4-inch pieces)
2 T. garlic, coarsely chopped
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes in sauce (I use fire roasted)
2 tsp. salt

GARNISH:
1/2 c. olives (kalamata and black oil cured, pitted)
2 T. fresh basil or parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
1/4 c. grated Parmesan (optional)

Heat a large pot (or Dutch oven) to medium-high with the olive oil. Add the the onion and green pepper and cook for 3 or 4 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, mix well, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook gently for 30 minutes. If the mixture has too much liquid, reduce it by boiling, uncovered, for another 3-4 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

To serve, drizzle a little olive oil and sprinkle with the olives, parmesan and fresh basil or parsley.

– Jacques Pépin, "More Fast Food My Way"