Hello Everyone! My name is Martha and I blog over at A Family Feast with my husband Jack, where we share all types of delicious family-friendly recipes! I’m stepping in today as a guest blogger by sharing our delicious recipe for Garden Vegetable Ratatouille so that Amee can take some much-needed time to recuperate after her surgery.
I had the huge pleasure of meeting Amee about a year ago during a trip to New Orleans where we both spent a weekend with the Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition. During our trip, we had the opportunity to tour the Gulf Coast and learn all about the incredibly passionate efforts that go into producing quality seafood of all kinds for our consumption.
In addition to eating lots of fantastic food made with Gulf Coast seafood, I spent some time getting to know Amee and was so impressed with her commitment to healthy living and eating!
This Garden Vegetable Ratatouille is a recipe that my husband Jack and I make every summer when our backyard garden is going crazy with freshly grown produce! (Living in New England, I am counting the days until warm weather is here again!)
But even now – before our garden starts to grow – all of the ingredients to make this flavorful Garden Vegetable Ratatouille are available at your local supermarket.
I hope you enjoy today’s recipe! And I’d love to have you check out more of our recipes over on A Family Feast.
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
- ¼ pound sliced shallots
- ½ pound onions sliced in thick half slices
- 2 tablespoons fresh garlic sliced
- 1 pound red bell pepper cut into one inch cubes (about 2 peppers)
- ½ pound orange bell pepper cut into one inch cubes (one pepper)
- ½ pound green bell pepper cut into one inch cubes (one pepper)
- ½ pound zucchini cut into one inch quarter circles
- ½ pound yellow squash cut into one inch quarter circles
- 1 pound fresh tomatoes cut into one inch cubes (Roma, cherry or grape) If using cherry or grape, cut in half
- 10 mint leaves roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh Italian flat leaf parsley roughly chopped
- 1 medium eggplant skin on cut into one inch cubes
- 10 large basil leaves roughly chopped, divided
- 1 bay leaf
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Italian bread slices
- Additional olive oil for drizzling over each portion and for grilling bread
- ¼ cup grated Romano cheese for sprinkling over each portion
- You will need a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot and a skillet to cook and build this dish. Basically each vegetable is sautéed separately in the skillet and added to the Dutch oven where everything gets finished.
- In the skillet over medium high add 1 ½ tablespoons of the oil along with shallots and onions. Sauté for three minutes and add garlic. Cook for one more minute, then add to the Dutch oven. Do not turn the heat on the Dutch oven yet.
- Keep the skillet heat on medium high and add 1 ½ more tablespoons of oil and add all three bell peppers. Cook these for five minutes then add to the Dutch oven with the onions.
- Keep the skillet heat on medium high and add 1 ½ more tablespoons of oil and add the zucchini and yellow squash. Cook for three minutes and add to the Dutch oven.
- Keep the skillet heat on medium high and add 2 more tablespoons of oil and add tomatoes, mint, oregano and parsley and cook stirring often for three minutes. Add to the Dutch oven.
- Add the remaining oil and once smoking hot, add the eggplant and cook for three minutes. Remove to the Dutch oven and retire the skillet. (The eggplant should be cooked last to absorb the brown bits from the bottom of the pan).
- Add half the basil, bay leaf, pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Heat to a simmer and simmer on low for ten minutes.
- Add the remaining basil, stir and adjust seasoning. Remove and discard bay leaf.
- To serve, brush a little oil on one side of each slice of bread and grill on a ribbed pan or toast.
- Lay toasted bread slices on a plate, cover with the vegetable mixture, drizzle some oil over the top and then finish with the Romano cheese.
Martha Pesa is part of the husband-wife team behind the food blog, A Family Feast. Many of the recipes featured on A Family Feast are inspired by New England coastal living, as well as time-tested family recipes passed down through generations. Martha and Jack believe that preparing a great meal is one of the best ways to show love and caring to family and friends, and they loves sharing their recipes and tips with readers.