Hey there stargazers and daydreamers,
I have a legitimate excuse this time. I was in Ireland. For part of the time that has elapsed since the last entry. To make up for my lack of posts, I am going to entertain you today AND tomorrow! So, I attempted to create ratatouille. I used a skeleton of a recipe from a vegetarian cookbook boasting meals in thirty minutes or less that also have no fat. Recipes like this, I ordinarily do not trust, however, it was surprisingly the only recipe I had from all my cookbooks (bouche bée!). Yet my taste testers gave it a four out of five star rating, which I take credit for because I doctored the recipe.
1 eggplant, washed and cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 large-ish tomato, sliced
2 medium zucchinis, cut into thin slices
3 large garlic cloves
4 tbsp hazelnut oil (or olive, grapeseed)
1 (28-ounce) can herbed crushed tomatoes, drained
1 tbsp thyme
1 tbsp oregano
2 bay leaves
salt n’ peppa to taste
fresh basil, optional
Heat half of the oil in a large skillet. Add onion and sauté over medium heat until 75% translucent. Add zucchini, salt and pepper. Stir, cover and cook for 3-5 minutes. Transfer the somewhat-to-mostly cooked vegetables to a bowl.
Add the remaining oil the the skillet (you will notice I used a pot – BIG MISTAKE). Add eggplant and sauté while stirring carefully so you don’t ruin the fragile and elegant eggplant slices. Add garlic, thyme, bay leaves and half of the crushed tomatoes. Cook for five to ten minutes, stirring semi-frequently so nothing burns.
Place the eggplant & tomato mixture into a separate bowl. Add the remaining tomatoes and oregano to the pot for about two minutes.
Layer the tomato sauce on the bottom of a casserole dish. Then decoratively layer the eggplant, followed by the zucchini and onion. Repeat until you are out of ingredients! Arrange the sliced tomato on top and bake, covered, at 350 C for approximately 30 minutes, or until it is bubbly. Remove the lid and bake another 10 minutes. Garnish with basil et voila! I forgot to photograph the finished product, so this is the pre-bake. It could have been more beautiful. Hopefully the taste made up for the lack of visual enchantment.