Ratatouille: Main dish, side dish, or a salad for the challah course? I’d say the answer is all of the above. For a weekday dinner, serve it over rice or couscous and call it a meal. If all you need is a side dish, it does a good job as that, too. And as something for your spread of salatim? Totally.
I’ve made this so many times, and each one is a little different. Depending on the produce prices, I might have a couple more tomatoes instead of the peppers. Or maybe I’ll use a tiny eggplant and throw in an extra zucchini. If I feel like it, I’ll dice everything really small, and if I don’t feel like it, I just cube. It’s all good.
But my new favorite thing about ratatouille is that the baby gobbles it up. Gourmet baby food, anyone?
Yield: Serves 8 as an appetizer or 4 as a side dish
- ¼ cup olive or canola oil
- 1 small eggplant, peeled and cubed
- 1 medium zucchini, peeled and cubed
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 red peppers, chopped
- 1 large tomato, cored, seeded, and chopped
- ¼ cup tomato paste mixed with ¼ cup water
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup fresh parsley or celery leaves, chopped
1. Heat oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add eggplant and zucchini, reduce heat to low, and stir to gently coat in oil. Let cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Add onion, garlic, red peppers, and tomato, and cook an additional 5 minutes.
2. Add tomato paste/water mixture and stir well. Add paprika and cumin and stir again. Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed. Finally, stir in the parsley. You’re done!
Storage: Keeps well in the fridge for six days.