Ratatouille Nicoise

In celebration of “Hug a Vegetarian” Day, here is the recipe for Ratatouille Nicoise from my most recent cooking class! This is an easy recipe, but takes about an hour to prepare. Ratatouille is a peasant soup and can be served hot or cold. The Nicoise part comes from the type of olives used in the dish. Prepared as presented, this will easily serve 8 to 10 people. What a great way to celebrate a Fall evening with your friends!  To temp you, here is a photo of the finished product!

Ratatouille Nicoise

3 TBLS olive oil

2 onions, chopped

1 red pepper, diced

1 yellow pepper, diced

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 Eggplant, diced

2 zucchini, diced

1 28 oz can plum tomatoes, chopped with their juices

1 tsp thyme chopped

1 bay leaf

salt, pepper

2 TBLS tomato paste

3 TBLS chopped basil

1 cup Nicoise or Kalamata olives, pitted

Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions

1. Heat 1 TBLS of the oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onions, peppers and garlic until softened and slightly browned, about 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile heat a large skillet with the remaining 2 TBLS oil and add the eggplant and zucchini. Saute over medium heat until lightly browned about 7 minutes.  Add to the onions.

3. Add the tomatoes, thyme, bay leaf, salt, pepper, tomato paste and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally for 20 – 25 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.

4. Add basil and olives and serve with parmesan on top, if desired

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