Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ratatouille with banana peppers - joining the rataouille debate

Ingredients

1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups green banana peppers, seeded and diced
1 medium eggplant, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup white wine

Summer seems to finally have arrived here, and for some reason, in my mind, summer dishes always include either peppers, tomatoes, zucchini and/ or eggplant - don't ask me why! And somehow, they always come together as some variation of ratatouille, which got me into heated discussions with the santoku master of what has to go into a real ratatouille. Growing up, eggplant was basically unknown in my family, and many summer days were spent feasting on completely eggplant-free ratatouille (a paradox, as I am being told now).

Still convinced that any combination of the vegetables above can make a ratatouille, this time I opted for a combination of eggplant, banana peppers (less sweet and crunchier than bell peppers which gave the dish an interesting tangy note, and I also liked the light green color, a good color for early summer) and tomatoes.

To prepare the eggplant, I cut it into small cubes, salted them and let them sit for 20 minutes before rinsing them in water to wash away the bitterness. Then, my usual beloved ritual of sauteing onions and garlic in olive oil followed, adding first the eggplant and after another 5-8 minutes the peppers, and letting them more or less roast in the pan for 15 minutes before adding the juicy tomatoes and stewing the mix with the white wine. After seasoning with salt, pepper and herbs de provence, the first ratatouille variation of the summer was ready to be enjoyed.

What is your favorite ratatouille and what has to go in it?


Life is good!

4 comments:

  1. I should make ratatouille more. I'm not sure why I don't. Look at all those wonderful veggies. We are still a ways away from that here, but you've given me something to look forward to! That's funny that you didn't grow up with eggplant as an ingredient in it...I agree, everything is up for interpretation.

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  2. I tend to think of ratatouille as just braised summer veggies in tomato sauce...pretty non-specific but somehow always delicious. Love this version!

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  3. I like the idea of the banana peppers, because I don't seem to digest bell peppers too well. I've never made ratatouille, and I still don't know why. =) I also haven't seen the movie!

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  4. My favorite ratatouille might just become this. I'm honestly just excited to have more fresh local veggies popping up at the market to play with in dishes like this. Lately, I've been looking for what is local.

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