It’s March and I’m growing increasingly antsy for fresh spring produce. Tonight I whipped up one of my go to dishes for incorporating fresh vegetables into my winter diet. Although I love a classic ratatouille, there are countless variations that enable you to enjoy fresh flavors with your choice of vegetables. The key to achieving the classic ratatouille flavor is a mixture of Herbes de Provence. You can make your own using the recipe below or purchase a prepared mixture at any grocery store.
Herbes de Provence
2 tablespoons dried savory
2 tablespoons dried rosemary
2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons dried basil
2 tablespoons dried marjoram
2 tablespoons dried fennel seed
In a small mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients together. Store in an air-tight container.
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more as needed
1 1/2 cups small diced yellow onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cups medium diced eggplant, skin on
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 cup diced red bell peppers
1 cup diced zucchini squash
1 cup diced yellow squash
1 1/2 cups peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of Herbes de Provence
The world is truly your oyster here. I like to stick with squash, zucchini, carrots, yellow or white onion and bell peppers but you can expand into Brussels sprouts and even asparagus.
1. Set a large 12-inch saute pan over medium heat and add the olive oil.
2. Once hot, add the onions and garlic to the pan. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they are wilted and lightly caramelized, about 5 to 7 minutes.
3. Add the eggplant and thyme to the pan and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is partially cooked, about 5 minutes.
4. Add the green and red peppers, zucchini, and squash and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes.
5. Add the tomatoes, basil, parsley, Herbes de Provence, and salt and pepper and cook for a final 5 minutes. Stir well to blend and serve either hot or at room temperature.