Menu Monday: Grilled Ratatouille

Kill-R Grill-R Ratatouille

So, we’re stuck at home, with little to do but eat and binge-watch our favorite shows. But if you’ve got a grill, there’s no reason we can’t start the summer grilling season early. You may not be able to go to your favorite restaurant, but you can create one in your own at home with this recipe.

Ratatouille, besides being the name of a movie about a rat obsessed with being a chef, is an absolutely delicious vegetable stew made with tomatoes, onion, garlic, eggplant, zucchini squash, peppers, and a lot of olive oil. It is packed with vitamins and minerals like potassium, antioxidants like lycopene, dietary fiber, and healthy monounsaturated fats. Grilling it adds a delicious twist, but if you can’t fire up the grill yet, an oven broiler will do the trick.

 

Ingredients:

  • A dozen ripe tomatoes (Roma or other; in a pinch two cans of tomato puree will do)
  • 1 medium-size onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • One large eggplant
  • Two large or three medium-sized zucchini squash
  • Two medium-sized bell peppers (1 red, 1 orange or yellow)
  • Olive oil (roughly ½ cup)
  • Pastry brush

 

 

Instructions:

  1. Dice onion and garlic. Heat a 4 quart or larger pot and add 2-3 tablespoons olive oil. Sauté the onion and garlic until browned.
  2. While onion and garlic are browning, chop tomatoes, and place in blender or food processor. (if you have neither, finely chopped will do)
  3. Add the tomatoes after the onion and garlic are done. Leave the heat on low and cover to cook tomatoes.
  4. Peel skin off eggplant and cut in slices roughly ¼ to ½ inch thick. Brush with olive oil. If using a grill, cook eggplant oil side down on low-medium heat for about 5-7 minutes. Brush the top side of the eggplant with oil and turn and continue cooking for another 5-7 minutes. If using an oven, put eggplant slices on a large baking tray. and place in oven on the top or near-top rack. Turn on the broiler. Watch every 2 minutes to avoid burning. Remove from oven when top side is done, turn, brush with oil and repeat until both sides are light brown. Set eggplant aside.
  5. Cut zucchini lengthwise in slices roughly ¼ inch thick. Cut bell peppers so that you end up with two wider and two less-wide sides. Brush both vegetables with oil and place on grill on low heat or under oven broiler and cook for 5 minutes per side. Watch to avoid burning/blackening. Turn, brush with oil, and repeat until both sides are soft and done.  Vegetables do not have to be completely cooked – they will cook further in tomato broth. 
  6.  Remove from grill or oven and set on large cutting board with eggplant. Cut all vegetables into bite-size pieces and add to tomatoes/onion/garlic mixture. Cook for 30-45 minutes to blend flavors. 
  7. Add fresh or dried basil and oregano plus salt and pepper to taste. Serve over high-protein macaroni as a meatless meal. 

  

High-protein, low carb option: add sliced meatless Italian sausage (there are several brands available in most supermarkets) cooked in olive oil and serve over spaghetti squash.

 

 

 


 

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Rick Weissinger

Registered Dietitian

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