Sunday, January 15, 2017

Roasted Vegetables - a.k.a. easy Ratatouille

The short of it: Roast a pan of chopped veggies (onions, peppers, eggplant, zucchini & or squash,) for one hour at 400 degrees - stirring every 20 minutes and adding a can of tomatoes for the final 20 minutes. Be sure the pan is the right size to be full. If they're spread out, they will dry out too far.

The long of it:  I love to make a big pan of this to keep on hand for easy vegetables, especially when I find a good looking eggplant. I've made this for years, and just realized its straight-up ratatouille (a vegetable dish consisting of onions, zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers, fried and stewed in oil and sometimes served cold). Serve over grilled chicken, with Italian sausage, whatever sounds delicious!

I basically chop a mixture of onions, peppers, eggplant, zucchini & or squash, in whatever proportions you like. You can use green peppers - but the end result will be more savory than nearly-sweet. Not a bad thing. This batch was, I THINK, one each: zucchini, 2 yellow squash, one big sweet onion, the equivalent of 2 peppers (I had 3 partial yellow, red & orange peppers) & a decent sized eggplant. Even sizes so they roast at the same rate.

Toss in olive oil & Salt/Papper, and put in a 9x13 pan. (be sure the pan is the right size to be full but not overflowing. If they're spread out, they will dry out too far - use a smaller pan if you're short on veggies).  Roast at 400 for 20 minutes, then stir. 20 more minutes then stir and add a can of tomatoes. I like the variety with some flavors - garlic, or basil, oregano & garlic. Let it roast a final 20 minutes or until its done to your liking. Personally - I like it well cooked - it almost makes the dish into a sauce.

Variations: It's basically an Italian dish - add some spices if you'd like. Garlic, thyme, oregano? Hot chili flakes? Splash some balsamic into AFTER its done cooking as a flavor enhancer. YUM.

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