What to do with summer’s bounty of tomatoes, zucchini and more - GulfToday

What to do with summer’s bounty of tomatoes, zucchini and more

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Ratatouille consists equal amounts of eggplant, zucchini and bell pepper. TNS

Typically — but not exclusively — ratatouille consists of roughly equal amounts of eggplant, zucchini and bell pepper, flavored with onion, garlic and herbs. Tomato is added in direct proportion to the cook’s tastes (see below). What sets apart the various ratatouille-ish treatments are the choice of vegetables, the size and shape of the cuts, and the method of cooking.

1 medium eggplant, peeled, cut into medium (1/2-inch) or large (3/4-inch) dice

Salt as needed

1/2 large onion, small dice

1 to 2 green or yellow bell peppers, cut into medium (1/2-inch) or large (3/4-inch) dice

2 medium summer squash (zucchini, golden squash, etc.), cut into medium (1/2-inch) or large (3/4-inch) dice

2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced

1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes or 4 to 6 fresh tomatoes, cut into medium dice (1/2-inch)

1 to 2 tablespoons fresh herbs (thyme, oregano, basil, herbs de Provence, etc., or a mix), or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried

Freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat a heavy bottomed skillet or stock pot over medium high heat. When hot, add 3 tablespoons oil and let heat, about 15 seconds. Add eggplant, season with salt, and sauté until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove to a bowl.

2. Add more oil if needed, then add onion and peppers; saute until onions are just starting to color and peppers are tender, about 2 minutes.

3. Add squash; saute until tender, about 3 minutes.

4. Add garlic; saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

5. Stir in half the tomato and reserved, cooked eggplant along with herbs, salt to taste and several grinds of pepper. Add remaining tomato if you want and when liquid starts to bubble, reduce heat and simmer to blend flavors, about 10 minutes.

6. Check seasoning, then serve immediately or hold, refrigerated, up to 5 days. May be served hot or at room temperature.

Tribune News Service