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!
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
2 TBLS tomato paste
3 TBLS chopped basil
1 cup Nicoise or Kalamata olives, pitted
Parmesan cheese, grated
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