As most of you know, this is one of my favorite times of the year- mid July is when my garden is prolific. That means good food right outside my back door. This year my garden is like a jungle. We have been blessed with rain and sun in just the right quantities to grow tomato plants almost as tall as my 5 ft 6 inch self. I am harvesting tons of vegetables every day and really I have eaten little more than veggies for most of my meals. I have been sharing with friends and neighbors and am really proud of my little plot of earth and what it has given me.
I am happy to say that I have helped these plants grow with no artificial means or chemicals. They are as organic as they come. I only use fish emulsion and compost for fertilizer and a little insecticidal soap and natural bacteria for pest control. It is possible! It is easy!! It is something that I am proud of!! These plants are made to grow and produce. Artificial chemicals are not necessary to MAKE this natural process occur. I know certain chemical companies are really promoting a lot of blogs right now that will use their product to grow their food and therefore poison their recipes, but I can't join that bandwagon. I am proud to know that I am putting healthy fresh fruits, herbs and veggies into my body. I am also relieved to know that when I leave the garden smelling like I just walked through a patch of tomatoes, that is the only thing on my skin. No decontamination shower is needed after picking in my little urban farm. If you are in my area, bring a basket. I will let you forage and then we can sit on the porch steps and eat a warm, sun ripened tomato. Nothing better!!
This recipe is really written with very loose terms and ingredients. I use what I have. That is why I said it was "Rebecca's Ratatouille." I am not the first person to make this nor will I be the last but I have a garden that is bursting with flavor and this is the perfect way to use up a lot of produce. If you don't have an eggplant put in another squash. If you have an herb you love, add it. I had okra this week so I threw it in too. Whatever goes! Enjoy and change it up!
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium eggplant, cubed
2 medium zucchini or yellow squash, cubed
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 hot pepper, cut into rings
1/4 cup dry white wine
10 fresh basil leaves, chiffanade
Fresh oregano, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Cut the eggplant into rounds and place on some paper towels. Salt the tops and allow them to drain for about 15 minutes before you add them to the rest of the ingredients. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or iron skillet. When the oil is warmed add the onions, peppers and garlic and sauté until soft about 5-7 minutes on medium. Add the cut up eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes; sauté until softened about 8-10 minutes. Add the wine, salt and pepper and the fresh or dried herbs of your choice. Simmer for 5-10 minutes depending on how done you like your squash and eggplant. Keep an eye on it and stir occasionally to make sure it does not get soggy or stick. This can be served as a side dish or it can be a meatless meal.