As the year 2020 begins, I find myself scaling my cooking to match both the number of plates (2), and the need to eat more healthy. (Mediterranean / Vegetable heavy diets)
Trolling the various cooking feeds, I found a basic vegetable stew, almost a Ratatouille. I have, of course, added my own twist to the mix.
Ratatouille is a French Provençal stewed vegetable dish, originating in Nice, and sometimes referred to as ratatouille niçoise. Recipes and cooking times differ widely, but common ingredients include tomato, garlic, onion, zucchini, aubergine (eggplant), bell pepper, and some combination of leafy green herbs common to the region.
This is a very filling dish, and can be eaten as is, or used as a pour over for rice, couscous, or pasta.
One can adjust the amounts / type of veggies, adding various bell peppers, or aubergines, for color, or even add serrano or jalapeno peppers for an extra kick.
- Deep frying pan
- 1 ea Eggplant Medium
- 4-6 ea Baby Potatoes Small, yukon, red, or russet
- 1 ea Bell Pepper Medium
- 1 ea Zuccchini Medium
- 1 ea Onion Medium, Sweet
- 1 ea Carrot Medium
- 1 stalk Celery Medium
- 1 Can Rotel Tomatoes Regular or fire roasted
- 6 Ea Fresh Basil Medium leaves
- 1/2 tsp Oregano Dried
- 1 tsp Thyme Dried
- 4 cloves Garlic Peeled, Minced
- 1/2 cup Olive Oil
- 1/4 cup Parsley Flat Leaf, washed, chopped
- 4-6 ea Mushrooms Medium, Washed
- 1 cup Stock Mushroom, Vegetable or Chicken or Water
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Wash eggplant split and cut into 1" x 1" chunks
- Wash and halve potatoes, quarter large ones
- Wash, and trim zucchini, cut into 1" pieces
- Wash, seed and cut bell pepper into 1" pieces
- Peel Carrots and cut into 1" pieces
- Wash, and trim celery, cut into 1" pieces
- Peel and dice onion
- Wash and quarter mushrooms
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium low and add the onions, mushrooms.
- Cook, until the onions are soft and translucent, about 6-8 minutes.
- Add the garlic, oregano and thyme and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Raise the heat to medium high, add the remaining oil and when hot, add the eggplant. Stir gently for a minute, so that the eggplant is sizzling and completely covered with oil.
- Adjust the heat throughout the entire sauté process so the vegetables are sizzling without burning.
- Add the potatoes and carrots and stir, cooking for 2 minutes.
- Add the peppers and celery, stirring to make sure all the vegetables are coated with the oil, adding a little more oil if needed.
- Cook for 1 minute, stirring and searing the outer surface of the vegetables, which
will lightly caramelize them and enrich the flavor of the cooking liquid as they stew.
- Add the zucchini and stir gently for a minute or two, until the color deepens, adding a little more oil if needed.
- Season lightly with salt and pepper
- Add the tomatoes and juice, stock, and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and let the
vegetables simmer for about 25 minutes or longer, until tender.
- Check while cooking and add a little more stock / water if mixture seems too thick.
The consistency should be like a thick stew.
- Add the basil and parsley, cover, and continue cooking over low heat another 10 minutes.
- Taste and adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper
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