The farmers’ market is bursting with delicious fruits and veggies this time of year. Last weekend, we picked up a few baskets of zucchini and a couple bunches of carrots. While they may not have had the picture-perfect visages of supermarket produce, those veggies sure were tasty.
Ratatouille is one of my faves because it requires only one pot. There are no fancy cooking techniques involved, and it complements whatever protein is on hand. A traditional ratatouille includes eggplant and excludes carrots, but I say you should use whatever veggies are in your kitchen. This recipe makes six to eight servings.
Farmers’ Market Ratatouille
- olive oil
- 2 large zucchini, diced
- 3 large carrots, diced
- 2 small onions, diced
- 1 large bell pepper, diced
- 4 large tomatoes, diced (or you can use canned tomatoes)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1.5 oz. tomato paste (a small can is 3 oz.; use more or less as needed)
- 1/4 c. dry red wine
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/8 tsp. dried chili flakes (adjust to taste)
- kosher salt
- chicken stock, as needed
- fresh basil to garnish
Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over a medium flame. Give the carrots a head start by cooking them for eight to ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the rest of the vegetables to the pot. Cook until the veggies begin releasing liquid. Stir in the tomato paste, wine, herbs, and spices. Cover and simmer over low heat for twenty minutes or until the tomato paste mellows in taste and color. If the sauce is too thick, add some chicken stock (I didn’t actually need any). If it is too thin, add a little more tomato paste and/or uncover to let some of the liquid evaporate. Adjust the spices as needed. Garnish with fresh basil.
In other words, put everything into a pot and cook it for a while. Taste it often and adjust the ingredients until you like it. Easiest. Recipe. Ever.
We enjoyed our ratatouille with some cheap grass-fed steaks, but it was also delicious the next day with grilled salmon.