Jul
31
    
Posted (Lori) in News

These two recipes—Carolyn’s vegetable medley and Ratatouille—are similar. Both make use of all the vegetables we’re receiving right now and are infinitely adaptable to whatever you have on hand. It takes a few minutes to cook it, but once you have a pot of it ready, you need to spend very little—boiling pasta or rice, sautéing meat or pasta, broiling fish—to create a full meal.

CAROLYN’S VEGETABLE MEDLEY

Carolyn writes, “This is our summertime favorite, generally 2-3 times a week, and it’s really prime time now as the main veggies come in! Cheers – - -“

Onions (chopped or sliced)

Butter or EVVO

Green (or red or yellow or lavender) peppers (chopped or slivered)

Fresh tomatoes (roughly chopped)

Zucchini or yellow summer squash (chopped or cut in half-moons)

Corn (cut off the cob)

You can use as much or as little of any vegetable as you like. You can also add other fresh, summer vegetables like eggplant, chard, spinach, or pretty much whatever comes from our CSA that week.

Lightly sauce the onions in butter or extra virgin olive oil for a couple of minutes. Add the peppers and sauce a couple minutes more. Add the tomatoes and continue sautéing a few minutes more. Add the zucchini/squash and corn and cook until done, only a few more minutes.

To make a one-dish meal, add cooked, chopped chicken or pork or sausage or other meat. For a more vegetarian dish add cooked garbanzo beans or white/navy/cannillini beans or lentils.

Serve with good French bread or a whole wheat baguette to soak up the juices or add cooked, whole grains (brown rice, wheat, barley, kamut, etc.). Modify the quantity of each ingredient depending on how many people you want to serve.

RATATOUILLE

The vegetables in our share this week look like ratatouille waiting to happen; I’ll make my first ratatouille of the summer when I get home on Tuesday night.

All summer long, I make a pot of it every Tuesday night, using a big eggplant, 2 or 3 squash, 1 or 2 bell peppers, 1 large onion or 2 small shallots, and 2 big tomatoes. I add some of my mushrooms and when everything is soft, I add homemade or canned tomato sauce or paste. I usually sauté the ingredients instead of baking them, but the idea is the same; cube eggplant, squash, onions, peppers, and tomatoes; add oil; and cook until everything is soft. Add salt, pepper, and whatever herbs you like (I usually use basil and/or thyme). The finished dish is incredibly versatile and goes a long way. I spoon it over pasta and rice on Tuesday night. It’s breakfast on Wednesday morning, folded into an omelette. On Thursday, it becomes a sandwich filling, with a slice of cheese; I put the whole sandwich into the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese. By Friday—let’s skip Friday, we don’t want ratatouille every day. But on Saturday, I mix it with a grain—rice, wheatberries, farro. And there’s still some left for side dishes on Sunday or Monday. I change herbs and spices, add cheese and even serve it over chicken and fish.

I’m pasting Julia Childs’ ratatouille recipe below; it takes much longer than my chop-everything-and-throw-it-in-a-pan version; I’ve tried it, it’s better, but I don’t think it’s worth the extra effort.

JULIA CHILD’S RATATOUILLE

1 pound eggplant

1 pound zucchini

1 teaspoon salt

4-6 tablespoons olive oil (divided)

1/2 pound thinly sliced yellow onions (about 1 1/2 cups)

2 green peppers (about 1 cup)

2 cloves mashed garlic

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 pound tomatoes (peeled and then seeded and juiced)

3 tablespoons minced parsley

1. Peel the eggplant and cut into lengthwise slices 3/8?thick, about 3” long and 1? wide. Scrub the zucchini, slice off the two ends and cut into slices about the same size as the eggplant. Place the vegetables in a bowl and toss with 1 teaspoon salt. Let stand for 30 minutes. Drain and dry each slice in a towel.

2. One layer at a time, saute the eggplant and then the zucchini in 4 tablespoons hot olive oil in a 10-12? skillet for about a minute on each side to brown very lightly. Remove to a side dish.

3. In the same skillet, cook the onions and peppers (add an additional 2 tablespoon of olive oil if needed) for about 10 minutes, until tender but not browned. Stir in the garlic and season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Slice tomato pulp into 3/8? strips. Lay them over the onions and peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the skillet and cook over low heat for 5 minutes or until tomatoes have begun to render their juice. Uncover, taste the tomatoes with the juices, raise heat and boil for several minutes until juice has almost entirely evaporated.

5. Place a third of the tomatoes mixture in the bottom of a 2 1/2 quart casserole (about 2 1/2? deep). Sprinkle 1 tablespoon fresh, minced parsley over tomatoes. Arrange half of the eggplant and zucchini on top, then half the remaining tomatoes and parsley. Put in the rest of the eggplant and zucchini and finish with the remaining tomatoes and parsley.

6. Cover the casserole and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Uncover, tip the casserole and baste with the rendered juices. Correct seasoning if necessary. Raise heat slightly and cook uncovered about 15 minutes more, basting several times, until juices have evaporated leaving a spoonful or two of flavored olive oil. Be careful of your heat; do not let the v



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