Aside from being one of my favorite movies, this simple dish is also one of my favorite things to eat during the summer. Squash, eggplant, and tomatoes are in major abundance in these hot summer months and this is the perfect dish to showcase their deliciousness. I’m calling this Farmer’s Market Ratatouille because at this time of year, all the ingredients for this are overflowing at my neighborhood market. There is so much of it and everything is so tempting that I have to try not to make this dish every week.
I got this recipe from a dear friend of mine, and as she said herself, it’s basically fool proof. With that being said, I don’t have too much commentary, so let’s get down to it!
Farmer’s Market Ratatouille
8 Servings, Prep Time: 15-20 minutes, Total Time: 40-60 minutes
- 2-4 tablespoons of olive oil
- One large onion, diced
- One 8oz container of cremini mushrooms, quartered
- One large yellow summer squash or four baby, sliced into roughly 1/4 inch circles or chunks
- One large zucchini or four baby, sliced into roughly 1/4 inch circles or chunks
- One medium eggplant or two or three baby, sliced in bite sized chunks
- One large can of crushed tomatoes
- Kosher salt
- Three or four medium tomatoes (optional)
- bunch of basil (optional)
Step 1: Chop all your veggies!! That’s basically the entire prep.
Step 2: Heat up at least 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pot on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add in the onions and a pinch of salt, cooking until they soften and start to brown. Be sure to occasionally stir them. Then stir in the mushrooms and cook until they turn nice and soft. THEN add the squash and zucchini all at once. You might want to add a bit more oil at this point. Once you add the these guys, throw a lid on the pot and lower the temperature to medium-low. It’s really important to lower the heat here, because if it’s too hot, thing will burn. Burned vegetables = gross taste. Let everything cook together for a few minutes until they soften and reduce in size.
Step 3: After about 5 minutes, remove the lid and stir in the eggplant. Perhaps add more oil if it’s getting dry. Then put the back on for another five minutes or so before folding in the crushed tomatoes. Also, if you’re adding fresh tomatoes, go ahead and throw them in at this point. Crank the heat back up to medium until the stew starts to bubble and then turn the heat back to a simmer. After it simmers for a couple minutes, be sure to taste and season with salt or pepper as needed.
Step 4: This is optional, but adding some basil can make this dish just that much more summery. You have two options: poaching the basil or adding it in chopped. Poaching it is a nice way to get basily deliciousness infused in the dish. All you do it is take a bunch of basil and stick it in stems up when you lower the heat to a simmer. Keeping the heat low is crucial to keep the basil from burning, which will essentially ruin the dish. Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes, after which you remove the basil bunch and the dish is essentially done. The second method is also super easy. Just chop up the basil in little bits and add when the heat is reduced to a simmer. Let everything simmer for at least 15 minutes and enjoy!
I like to eat this over quinoa or couscous, but it’s also delicious with a big ole hunk of bread : )