…all covered with Ratatouille.
What a great way to use bruised tomatoes! Of course the perfect (and sometimes not so perfect) tomatoes go into the BLTs, the salads or eaten out of hand like an apple. Bruised tomatoes sometimes get looked over and by passed, but wait! A little bruise on a tomato could quite possibly be the bargain of the Farmers’ Market and a boon to your dinner tonight. Maybe a tomato in your own garden fell and was damaged. These ‘seconds’ make great salsas and chopped for soups and salads too!
You don’t have to use bruised tomatoes in your Ratatouille, but it’s a great excuse to make a batch. The first time I had Ratatouille, I was in London and my friend, Marie-Paule prepared it as a topping for crusty bread – YUM! Ultimate Bruschetta.
Nowadays, cooking up a Ratatouille with fresh produce from the garden or Farmers’ Market is a fantastic and healthy mid-week meal. Spaghetti is a substantial base, but creamy polenta would be good too. Let’s get started:
Summer Fresh Ratatouille
4 Tbls olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium eggplant, peeled and diced
1 or more bell pepper, cored and diced
2 medium squash, yellow or green, trimmed and diced
minced garlic – as much as you like
1 small jalapeno, cored and minced or 1 tsp crushed red pepper
4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes or 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of sugar, optional
chopped fresh parsley and basil
Begin by heating the olive oil in a large saute pan. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook until softened. Add the eggplant and lower the heat to soften slightly. Add the remaining vegetables and stir to blend. Allow the mixture to cook to a low boil, then simmer until everything is softened as much as you prefer.
Taste for seasoning. You may decide to add a pinch of sugar to balance the acidity, but it may not be necessary. Add a generous handful of freshly chopped herbs. Serve over bread, spaghetti or another pasta or polenta.