This is a play on traditional ratatouille, using delicate chinese eggplant, and fresh cilantro! Deee-lish!
Last week’s farmshare brought these cute little eggplant, cilantro and zucchini to our kitchen. My challenge was to use only what I was given, and what was in the pantry. I researched some traditional recipes for ratatouille and improvised. It was absolutely wonderful!
4 small eggplant , cut in medium chunks (the Chinese ones have a purple striped skin and are sweet and luscious. Small Italian eggplant are also a good choice).
4 zucchini, cut in small chunks
2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
salt and pepper
fresh cilantro ,about 1/3 cup chopped. (This replaces the sage, basil and parsley used in traditional rat.)
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
24 oz can of organic crushed tomatoes
4 cloves garlic. (If it’s “date night”, use 3 cloves)
*Cut all your veggies and set aside. Sprinkle some salt on the eggplant and the zucchini.
*In a frying pan, add 2 tbs olive oil. Saute onions for 5 minutes. Add bell peppers and 1/2 of the garlic ontil peppers softened, about 7 more minutes. Transfer to a stew pot or dutch oven.
* Return frying pan to medium heat and add some oil. Add the eggplant pieces and saute about 6 minutes. Don’t stir it too much of the eggplant gets mushy. Now add the eggplant to the stew pot.
*Now saute the zucchini slices in the empty frying pan about 4-5 minutes until they soften. Add to the stew pot.
*Take the can of tomatoes, remaining garlic, cilantro and some fresh ground pepper and add it to the stew pot. Simmer on medium heat about 25 minutes. (Personally, I love flavors to settle and blend, so I simmered on a slightly lower temperature for about 40 minutes).
Serve with crusty bread or wild rice. This dish can be enjoyed hot or cold. (And it tastes even better the next day!)
Enjoy! Let me know if you like it!