Sunday, July 3, 2011

Summer Vegetable Ratatouille with Feta

I've written about this type of dish before but it's just too good to not include this version of it on my blog. And besides, it's been awhile since we've had an abundance of summer produce available so it's time to start thinking about these great vegetables dishes again. The farmers' market is full of different types of squash: zucchini, yellow squash, Lebanese, patty pan and eggplant (not really a squash, but you get my point). Not to mention bright red tomatoes waiting to burst they're so juicy. So with these incredibly fresh ingredients at the ready, there are tons of delicious dishes just begging to be made. One of my favorites is a ratatouille type dish, served over gluten free pasta (or regular if you can eat it of course), topped with cheese. For this version, I went with feta, a change up over the usual Parmesan or other similar cheese but equally delicious. I chose feta because that is what Chapel Hill Creamery had at the time I went to the market. But I think it was just a cosmic push to include this wonderfully salty, briny cheese into my dish to add a whole new level of flavor that just wouldn't have come from anywhere else. Although the vegetables are incredible on their own, sauteed in a bit of olive oil with garlic, salt and pepper, I added a few things to create something new and add to the overall yumminess of the dish. The red wine vinegar adds a brightness to the dish while the sugar brings out the sweetness in the tomatoes. Finished off with some fresh basil and a bit more feta cheese and you've got yourself quite a meal.

Summer Vegetable Ratatouille with Feta

  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 2 zucchini, chopped into small cubes
  • 1 yellow squash, chopped
  • 1 large eggplant, peeled and cubed
  • 4-5 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried thyme, or 2-3 tsp fresh
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, or to taste
  • 3 oz feta cheese, crumbled, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
Heat oil in a large skillet, preferably with straight sides, over medium heat.
Add garlic cloves, zucchini and yellow squash, season with a pinch of salt and pepper; saute for a few minutes.
Add eggplant and tomato, stirring to combine. Cook until vegetables begin to soften, about 5-8 minutes.
Stir in tomato paste, red wine vinegar, thyme and sugar. Season with a bit more salt and pepper.
Simmer sauce for about 8-10 minutes until all of the flavors are well combined and the vegetables are tender.
Remove from heat and stir in crumbled feta and fresh basil. Check seasoning and add more salt or pepper if needed.
Serve sauce over cooked pasta or rice and garnish with a bit more feta cheese.

For a printable recipe click here

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