How to: Cook quick vegetarian ratatouille

10-15-08 SPM How to
Published On:
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
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Ratatouille (rat-uh-too-ee) is a vegetarian French eggplant dish. Enjoy it as a vegetable stew or with pasta or beef — this dish is versatile. If it is made with organic ingredients, Ratatouille serves as a “green” entree in every aspect. “It’s a ‘green’ dish if it’s organic. Chemicals used on regular produce end up in the ground and in water sources, which harms the environment,” says Janet Nichols, a marketing manager at Whole Foods, Tempe. Don’t let the list of ingredients be daunting, there are enough vitamins in this meal to check off many of the Nutritional Daily Requirements and lots of fiber to boot. The healthiest way to enjoy the dish is with organic ingredients, Nichols says. “Organic produce is always more beneficial for the body because you’re not ingesting chemicals,” she says.

You’ll need

dash of ground rosemary
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 zucchini, sliced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 eggplant, cut into small cubes
2 large tomatoes, cut
5 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 bay leaf
4 tbsp dry red wine
1/2 cup tomato juice
4 - 5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp dried basil
1 large saucepan

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes

Step 1: Heat olive oil in a large saucepan and sauté onion for 5 minutes. Add bay leaf, wine and tomato juice and stir.

Step 2: Next add garlic, herbs, salt and pepper. Mix all contents, and simmer for 10 minutes over a low heat.

Step 3: Add zucchini and peppers, stir. Cover saucepan and let simmer for five minutes. Then add the less firm vegetables to saucepan: eggplant, tomatoes and tomato paste.

Step 4: Stir and cover for another 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Ratatouille can be complemented by a baguette, rice, a little cheese, or simply alone as a low calorie, vegetarian option. Serves 2-3.

Reach the reporter at michelle.masek@asu.edu.