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Made in the Nightshades: Ratatouille

RatatouilleWhen summer harvest is at its peak with tomatoes, eggplants, zucchini and peppers, ratatouille is your best friend. This easy, colorful dish is packed with vitamins and nutrients and also light and delicious. Add fresh herbs and garlic and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and simmer until it’s time for dinner. Serve it alongside bread or use it to fill an omelet or crepes. The ratatouille could be made one day in advance, kept covered and chilled, and reheated before serving.

 

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 3/4-lb. eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 1 small zucchini, scrubbed, quartered lengthwise, and cut into thin slices
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • Ripe tomatoes, chopped coarse (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, cook the onion and garlic in 2 Tbsp of oil over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened.
  2. Add the remaining 3 tbsp oil and heat it over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking.
  3. Add the eggplant and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes, or until the eggplant is softened.
  4. Stir in the zucchini and the bell pepper and cook the mixture over the moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 12 minutes.
  5. Stir in the tomatoes and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  6. Stir in the oregano, thyme, coriander, fennel seeds, salt, and pepper to taste and cook the mixture, stirring for 1 minute.
  7. Stir in the basil and combine the mixture well.