Monday, September 24, 2012

Ratatouille


We love French Cuisine for Fall!
As the days are getting shorter and the weather is getting colder you tend to crave warm heartier dishes.  The last of the summer vegetables are being harvested and this recipe is perfect for them. Ratatouille is a traditional French stewed vegetable dish, originating in Nice. Ratatouille is usually served as a side dish, but also may be served as a meal on its own.

Ingredients:
Sauce:
1 can diced tomatoes with Italian Seasoning
STAR Ratatouille
Ratatouille
1 small jar roasted red peppers, drained
Juice of half a lemon
1 shallot, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Vegetables:
1 zucchini
1 Italian zucchini
1 yellow squash
1 eggplant  (Chinese eggplant works nicer because it is narrower)
2 orange or yellow bell pepper
Topping:
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp. STAR California Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tsp. fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
In a sauce pan, combine the diced tomatoes, roasted bell pepper, and shallots. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes.

While sauce is cooking slice the zucchini, Italian zucchini, yellow squash into thin slice into thin rounds. Cut the peppers into ring

After the sauce is done, transfer mixture to a blender and puree. Add lemon juice, taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Pour into the bottom of a casserole dish.

Ratatouille
Ratatouille Layering
Now, layer your vegetables on the sauce. As pictured below, a layer of eggplant was placed first in the dish, followed by a layer of orange bell pepper. The last layer ended with zucchini, Italian zucchini and yellow squash alternated decoratively in a circle around the dish.

Then in a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients: garlic, STAR California Extra Virgin Olive Oil salt, pepper, and thyme. Drizzle this on top of the vegetables. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and let bake for another 10 minutes.

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