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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ratatouille

Ratatouille
In Paris about three years ago, my family and I ducked into a small little cafe for lunch. It was early August, and most of the cafes were empty.

After placing our orders, the waitress returned with a tiny bowl of ratatouille. She explained that her grandmother made the ratatouille for the cafe, and though we did not order it, she thought we would like to try a few bites.

It was my first time trying ratatouille, and I still remember how delicious the stew was with a delicate thyme flavor.

Back here in America, I have found it difficult to find ratatouille in restaurants. Though it is a fairly simple stew of garden fresh vegetables, it simply isn't popular here in America.

I had a craving for ratatouille a few weeks ago, and I realized the only way I was going to eat some was if I made it myself! Luckily, thanks to my slow cooker and America's Test Kitchen, I was able to cook a giant pot of ratatouille.

This is a great recipe to make when you have a busy week. Ratatouille is incredibly healthy (vegan!), and it pairs well with eggs, chickpeas, and chicken. Z and I like to eat our ratatouille with toast and fried eggs.

Enjoy!

Ratatouille

10-12 Servings
From America's Test Kitchen

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 eggplants, cut into 1-inch chunks
3 zucchini, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 onions, halved and sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices
2 red peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/3 inch thick slices
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained, juice reserved
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Heat one tablespoon of oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Brown half of the eggplant lightly on all sides, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer eggplant to the slow cooker. Repeat the browning process with another tablespoon of oil and eggplant. Transfer the second batch of eggplant to the slow cooker.

Working in two batches, repeat the browning process with zucchini and transfer the zucchini to the slow cooker.

Heat remaining two tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic, and thyme and cook until the vegetables are softened, about eight to ten minutes. Stir in flour and cook for one minute. Slowly whisk in reserved tomato juice, and smooth out any lumps. Transfer this mixture to the slow cooker.

Stir the tomatoes into the slow cooker. Cover and cook vegetables for four to six hours on low. When the vegetables are tender, stir in the basil, salt and pepper. Serve with grated cheese. 
RatatouilleRatatouille

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