I love ratatouille and so does Frank. We make it when eggplants are in season and cheap to buy. But wait! This year we have our own eggplant harvest. I’ve tried growing the darned things in the past but this year is the first I’ve actually had a harvest. Confession: I sowed about 7000 seeds (that’s a conservative estimate) in 3 or 4 different batches; some in seed trays, some in the house, some directly into the veggie bed; and I’ve ended up with maybe 5 productive plants. I do not know what I’m doing wrong but since I’ve managed to harvest a few eggplants this year, I’m more motivated to try again next year.
Well, if I’d planned my crops more cleverly I might have been able to add my own tomatoes but my old ones are no longer producing and my young ones aren’t yet producing. Timing is everything.
Here’s my ratatouille recipe. It’s VERY flexible. The quantities go up and down depending on the size and numbers of each veggie and my mood.
2) Add onion and garlic to a deep pan with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and heat on low.
3) While the onion is softening, chop into large chunks (this cooks for ages and I like bite-sized pieces at the end so they start out big):
- 1 eggplant
- 2 small or 1 large capsicum
- 2 medium zucchini
- 4 tomatoes
4) When the onions are soft, add all the other vegetables, a bit of salt, pepper, a bay leaf and oregano and stir through.
5) Simmer covered, stirring occasionally, for about an hour.
You can add mushrooms, olives, basil or just about anything else that strikes your fancy. I never add water because all those veggies are wet enough. If it’s too wet, at the end I take the lid off to let some moisture evaporate.