End of Summer Ratatouille
Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish or 4-6 as an entree
Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes
- 2 medium hearty, round tomatoes
- 2 zucchinis
- 1 medium red pepper
- 1 medium eggplant
- ½ teaspoon each: dried oregano, thyme, rosemary and parsley
- (Optional: 1/2 teaspoon each dried marjoram, savory, lavender buds)
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise
- 2 to 3 tablespoons high-heat oil
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, chopped (about 1 tablespoon), or more as desired
- A few splashes of red wine vinegar
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Splash of extra virgin olive oil
Trim stem end of tomatoes. Grate tomatoes into a bowl, discarding the skins, then set aside. Trim the tops off of the zucchini, pepper and eggplant. With a mandoline, v-slicer or a very sharp knife, cut them into very thin slices and place in a separate bowl. Sprinkle herbs and salt over the vegetables.
Sauté the onions in 1 tablespoon of high-heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook until golden-brown. Remove from pan and set aside. Add remaining oil to pan, discarding any browned onion bits. Heat to medium-high and add zucchini, red pepper and eggplant to pan. Follow with garlic. Cook until veggies are limp and starting to caramelize, about 12 minutes.
Add tomatoes and cooked onions and stir well. Cook until liquid from tomatoes reduces and thickens, about 3 minutes. Add vinegar and pepper; stir to combine.
Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Season with olive oil, if desired. Stir into rice, add to sandwiches, pasta, cooked beans or lentils, cook with eggs or eat as a side dish on its own.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Makes about 3 cups base. Add to carbonated or still water, about 2 tablespoons per 8 oz. glass, ore more as desired
- 2 cups seasonal fruit such as strawberries, plums, peaches or watermelon
- 2 cups vinegar
- 2 cups sugar (or, if you’d like, substitute honey, agave syrup and/or maple syrup. Reduce to 2/3 cup if substituting)
- A few sprigs of mint, rosemary, sage or other herb (optional)
Clean and trim produce very well. Cut into approximately 1-inch sized pieces if using large fruit, leave smaller things like berries whole.
In a non-reactive medium saucepan, bring vinegar to a high simmer. Place fruit and optional herb in a wide non-reactive bowl and pour the vinegar over. Stir well. Let cool for several minutes, then add the sugar or the substitute and stir well. Once this is cool to the touch, it’s useable but it does get more flavorful the longer the fruit macerates in the vinegar and sugar solution. It can be transferred into a pitcher (glass is ideal) and held in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can either strain the fruit from this mixture and use it as a chutney-like condiment or a garnish for your drink, or don’t strain it. (If using optional herb, that’s a good item to strain out.) Add by the tablespoon to flat or fizzy water, or use as a mixer for cocktails made with spirits, wine or beer.