Now that the colder weather is here a hearty comfort meal is exactly what we crave. If you're searching for a healthy option, look no further! After posting my weekend dinner pic I’ve been getting a lot of requests for the recipe. Confession: rarely do I ever follow a recipe when cooking. I typically make it up as I go, which can lead to some amazing meals! ..and also some that end up in the trash. It’s certainly not a full proof way to a delicious meal, but it sure is fun! See below for my latest creation: ratatouille!😊
Quick history about why I love this meal so much. Growing up I lived in 3 different homes before graduating high school but in each place my parents had an amazing vegetable garden and a love of cooking. Rarely were there meals that weren’t cooked from scratch incorporating something fresh they had grown from the garden. Whether it was the pulmp garden tomatoes, crisp green beans, savory herbs, squash, carrots, berries or peaches… the list goes on! One favorite weeknight meal was hearty ratatouille which used all ingredients fresh from the garden! Starting with my father’s base for anything- onions, olive oil and garlic, LOTS of garlic. A tradition that I proudly continue. Ratatouille was a delicious blend of eggplant (my favorite), zucchini, tomatoes, sauce, herbs, onion and garlic all simmered together. A simple but savory way to fill our bellies up with all the goodness from the garden. So below is my rendition of my childhood favorite!
1 canned diced tomatoes
1 eggplant – diced into cubes
2 zucchinis- diced into cubes
3 vine ripe tomatoes- diced into small cubes
4 cloves of fresh garlic -minced
1 onion chopped
Salt and pepper
6 fresh basil leaves
In a large pot heat up olive oil (enough to lightly cover the bottom on pan) toss in minced garlic and continuously stir to cook on med-high heat for 2 minutes. Toss in chopped onion, continue to stir until it starts to caramelize. Add canned tomatoes and fresh tomatoes and stir slowly. On medium heat let cook, stirring occasionally with basil leaves for 6-8 minutes. While the tomatoes are cooking- in a separate pan lightly coat in olive oil and sauté eggplant and zucchini cubes with salt and pepper (it may take 3-4 batches). Saute until lightly brown 6-7 minutes. Add each batch of sautéed vegetables to the tomatoes once done until complete. Once all ingredient are in the tomatoes, cover and simmer on low-medium heat for 30-40 minutes or as desired, stirring occasionally.
Serve topped with parmesan cheese and chopped parsley- enjoy! Paired well with lean protein; shrimp, chicken or fish.