Cleaning out the fridge with Ratatouille!

Kristina and I have been cooking a lot at my place, resulting in my refrigerator becoming the new home for a plethora of vegetables. While searching for something to eat for lunch before work, I realized that I had a wimpy looking eggplant, a few stalks of lonely asparagus, half a pepper and zucchini, neglected carrots and celery, four remaining mushrooms from the farmers market, and a sizeable portion of sauce from our pizza adventure (to be posted soon!) Then it dawned on me…these are the exact ingredients for a Ratatouille (ok, so asparagus is not in the traditional recipe but I do not discriminate!). I pulled my Dom DeLuise “Eat This..It’ll Make You Feel Better!” cook book off my shelf and started preparing the vegetables.   **His recipe is below and serves 8-10 people! I am cooking with left overs from the fridge, so my portions were significantly smaller***

Ingredients

  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped (I omitted this)
  • 2 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 eggplant, peeled and cubed
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 4 okra pods, sliced (he states that this is optional…I did not use it!)
  • 1 Green pepper, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced (did not have one in the house!)
  • 8-10 mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 tbs flour
  • 5 ripe tomatoes peeled and sliced, or 1 28 ox can crushed (I used homemade tomato sauce)
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 tsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil

In a large skillet (this for 8-10 people, you may need two skillets!), heat olive oil and saute garlic and onions.  Lightly flour the ramining vegetables, except tomatoes, and add to skillet along with tomatoes, pepper, parsley, oregano, and basil.  COok over medium flame for 30 minutes. Stir, lower flame, and simmer for 1 hour.

Again, I am making this for lunch, so I ate after 45 minutes of cooking…So glad I decided to look for lunch an hour and a half before leaving for work!! This meal is vegan and uses all fresh ingredients…with the exception of the olive oil!

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