Monday, September 1, 2014

Meatless Monday: Roasted Summer Veggie Ratatouille

Summer always finds us with a bounty of amazing vegetables to choose from.  The colors are dramatic, the textures enticing and the flavors are divine!  If you find your garden producing like a banshee and are trying to use up a lot of your summer produce all at once, why not take a cue from the French?  Oui?    
Here I had a mixture of colorful vegetables from my own garden (tomatoes and eggplant) as well as some beautiful Farmer's market finds (Lebanese summer squash (Have you tried these?  You must!!) and red bell peppers).  My massage therapist also gave me a yellow squash from her garden.  She's adorable!  I was also able to use up some fresh garden basil and some leeks in this recipe!  Seriously, add whatever is in season!  This recipe was delicious and filling.  You won't miss the meat at all!  It makes for the perfect Meatless Monday dinner!!

Roasted Summer Veggie Ratatouille
Adapted from: (Anne Burrell)

3-4 small or medium Japanese eggplant, cut into bite sized 1/2 inch slices
2-3 medium summer squash (I used Lebanese and yellow), cut into bite sized 1/2 inch slices 
4-5 paste tomatoes (I had some Roma and San Marzanos), cut into 1/2 inch slices
4-6 cloves of garlic (leave whole and in outer skin)
extra virgin olive oil
dried thyme
dried oregano
Hawaiian salt
2 leeks, white and light green parts only and finely sliced
1-2 red bell peppers, cut into bite sized 1/2 inch slices
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
2-3 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2) Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.  Place the eggplant, summer squash, and tomatoes in a single layer on the parchment paper.  I had so many veggies that I needed 2 baking sheets.  Add the whole cloves of garlic (divide them up between your baking sheets).  Drizzle vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with Hawaiian salt.  Sprinkle 1-2 tsp. each of dried thyme and oregano onto the vegetables.  

3) Slow roast the veggies in the oven for about 45-60 minutes (cooking time will depend on size and quantity of veggies).  Stir veggies a couple of times during the roasting process.  When done, vegetables should be soft and pliable and have brown edges to them.  Remove them from the oven and allow to cool.       

4) Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and coat the bottom of the skillet with olive oil.  When the oil is hot, add the leeks.  Season with salt and saute until the leeks are soft.  Add the red bell peppers and season with salt if needed.  Cook until the peppers are soft, 5-8 minutes.  Pick out the garlic cloves from your baking sheet and squeeze the garlic out of the outer skins.  Discard the skins.  Add the roasted garlic to your skillet.  Use the spoon to mash up the garlic bits and mix into the leek/pepper mixture.

5) Add the roasted vegetables to the skillet with any juices that collected.  Add the vinegar and fresh basil and mix well.  Add 2-3 more Tbsp. olive oil if needed.  Taste to check your seasoning.  Serve by itself or add it to a bed of pasta.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Oui oui!!