By LINDA GIUCA
The Hartford Courant
September 19, 2013
The classic Provencal ratatouille is not only quite simple to make but also to personalize. If you always follow a recipe right down to the last 1/4 teaspoon of salt, this dish can tempt your creativity.
A simple sauté — vegetables skillet-cooked in oil with fresh tomatoes for moisture, ratatouille uses those vegetables most plentiful in the garden. Tomatoes, onions, eggplant and zucchini form the basis of most recipes, but there is no rule against adding fennel, celery, green or red peppers, any favorite vegetable or different varieties of summer squash. Throw in a handful of chopped fresh herbs to enhance the flavors, and the vegetable mélange is ready to eat hot or cold.
The veggies can serve as a bed for a piece of grilled fish or chicken breast, a quick lunch when warmed in the microwave or a filling for an omelet. An even quicker pairing of eggs and the vegetable mix is this End-of-Summer Scramble.
>>Salt and pepper to taste
>>2 tablespoons olive oil
>>1 cup summer Vegetable Sauté (recipe below)
>>1/4 cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
>>Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
>>2 tablespoon olive oil
>>2 cloves garlic, minced
>>1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
>>2 medium eggplants, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
>>2 medium zucchini, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
>>2 yellow summer squash, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
>>1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
>>4 medium or 2 large ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped and juice reserved
>>2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
>>1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
>>1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
>>1/2 teaspoon pepper or to taste
To prepare Vegetable Sauté: Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add garlic and onion and sauté until onion softens, stirring frequently. If garlic begins to brown, lower the heat. Add eggplant, zucchini and summer squash and sauté, stirring frequently, until vegetables begin to soften. Stir in the tomatoes, herbs, salt and pepper, reduce heat to low and simmer until vegetables are tender. Makes about 6 cups.
To prepare Scramble: Combine eggs, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl, and whisk until scrambled. Heat oil in a 9-inch skillet until oil is hot. Pour in eggs and stir with a spatula until eggs begin to cook. Add vegetables and continue to stir and toss the mixture until the vegetables are warmed through and the eggs are cooked. Transfer eggs and vegetables to a serving plate, and sprinkle with cheese and parsley. Serves 4.
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