Ratatouille-Inspired Summer Veggie Dish

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IMG 2573   Ratatouille Inspired Summer Veggie Dish IMG 2566   Ratatouille Inspired Summer Veggie Dish

Every time we go to the farmer’s market, I always curse myself for not making a list, or at bare minimum, planning a couple recipes to guide my purchases. I always make a list for the grocery store, but for some reason it never occurs to me to make a list for the market. I either leave empty handed or I buy everything in sight – there’s rarely a happy medium.

This weekend though, I seemed to get it just right. We found ourselves at the Burlington Mall farmer’s market and by some miracle, I came prepared with a few recipes in mind – Bread and Butter Pickles, Zucchini Bread, and Homemade Salsa. These are all long-time favourites, but two are new to my own recipe repertoire. In the end, I ended up with a basket of perfectly ripe tomatoes, 3 huge zucchini, raspberries, and pickling cucumbers. Just enough to round out what was already waiting in the fridge back at home!

IMG 3319   Ratatouille Inspired Summer Veggie Dish

After spending much of the morning making recipes, a quick and easy meal was in order. I had zucchini and eggplant to use up, so I decided on this Ratatouille-inspired dish. This version below is only traditional in the sense that it includes many main ingredients found in Ratatouille – zucchini, eggplant, onion, garlic, tomatoes, etc – but the rest was interpreted according to my own taste buds. I encourage you to do the same.

Since I was out of tomato after my salsa making adventures, I stirred in some of my favourite marinara sauce at the end of cooking. You can add chopped tomato or marinara or both. It’s really up to you. I also didn’t bother cooking the vegetables separately, like many traditional recipes do.

The only thing I would change next time is to peel the eggplant. My stomach didn’t appreciate having to digest all that eggplant skin! If you have a sensitive stomach like I do, consider this your warning. I served this with brown rice, but you can also try serving it with couscous, quinoa, potatoes, or with a crunchy baguette.

IMG 2619 2   Ratatouille Inspired Summer Veggie Dish IMG 2606 2   Ratatouille Inspired Summer Veggie Dish

Ratatouille-Inspired Summer Veggie Dish

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Yield: About 6 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, peeled & minced
  • 2 cups chopped sweet onion
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped into 1” chunks (~2 cups chopped)
  • 1 large yellow zucchini, chopped into 1” chunks (~2 cups chopped)
  • 1 Italian Eggplant, peeled & chopped into 1” chunks (~1-1.5 cups)
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 3/4-1 cup marinara sauce (or use chopped tomato)
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, to taste
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh basil, finely chopped
  • Herbamare + salt & pepper, to taste

 

1. In a large cast-iron pot or skillet, heat the oil, garlic, and onion over medium heat for about 5 mins, stirring frequently and reducing heat if necessary.

2. Add the chopped zucchini, eggplant, and red pepper, as they are ready to go in. Season with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. I like giving the veggies a sprinkle of Herbamare to bring out the flavours.

3. Stir in about  3/4-1 cup of your favourite marinara sauce (I used The Linen Collection Marinara from Costco!) along with fresh herbs. Cook until vegetables are tender, but still a bit firm and not overcooked – about 5-7 more minutes.

4. Serve with a crunchy baguette, rice, potatoes, couscous, quinoa, or simply as a side.

IMG 2596   Ratatouille Inspired Summer Veggie Dish

When I published my post Friday morning, I had yet to hear the tragic news about the Colorado shooting. My deepest sympathies and thoughts go out to those lost, along with family, friends, and community members. I simply cannot imagine the grief and horror.

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{ 79 comments… read them below or add one }

Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} July 23, 2012

Nothing like a big pot of fresh summer veggies! I love all the vibrant colors in this dish.

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Jesse (OutToLunchCreations) July 23, 2012

I made ratatouille for dinner last night as well! Mine was very similar to yours but I used whole tomatoes and a ton of fresh oregano and basil because I had it on hand. I served mine over vegetable broth cooked quinoa and it was delicious.

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Angela July 23, 2012

That sounds lovely! I’ll have to try oregano next time too.

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LizAshlee July 23, 2012

This looks great..I haven’t actually made ratatouille before but I have some similar dishes…this is definitely one I am saving…I love all the colors! So funny, I make a list for the grocery store but not the farmer’s market either…perhaps I should try too! Thanks for sharing..have a great day!

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table July 23, 2012

I got incredibly carried away at the farmer’s market yesterday too. Everything looks so delicious!

Ratatouille is one of my favorite dishes. I always do basil and thyme, but also like to add fresh rosemary.

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Gail Elise July 23, 2012

This looks great! I love all of the colors.

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Erica { EricaDHouse.com } July 23, 2012

I dated a guy from France once who made the BEST Ratatouille. After we split I tried to recreate the dish and it was an epic failure. I’ll definitely give it another shot with this recipe!

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Angela July 23, 2012

hah well, my recipe sure isn’t traditional so I’m not sure it will help you, but it did taste good!
I read a handful or articles on traditional Ratatouille on the weekend and there are a lot of different opinions on how to make it (isn’t that how it always goes?). I’d like to try Julia Child’s recipe at some point.

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Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn July 23, 2012

Market fa-fa-freshhhh! My madre makes the besttttt ratatoullie with ingredients that I’ve never figured out. It’s always good. Mostly I’m just addicted to eggplant.

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Lexi @ You, Me, & A World to See July 23, 2012

YUM! I love Ratatouille, and it reminds me of that adorable Disney movie now too :)

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Janae @ Bring-Joy July 23, 2012

What a beautiful farmer’s market! I admit, despite being surrounded by vegetable & fruit farms, I have yet to take advantage of the fresh produce here in Washington. I have been snagging lots of zucchini from my parent’s garden though. Love the bright colors of summer foods, like this.

Yes, I too, was unaware of the tragedy when I posted on Friday (I actually did go to a midnight showing on Thursday & talked about it in my post). Seriously, so, so sad. Heartbreaking.

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Brigid July 23, 2012

We must be sharing brain waves girl! I JUST made my first ratatouille last weekend.

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat July 23, 2012

Mmm this looks lovely Ange! All the colours are so vibrant! I was at the market this weekend too and have been cheffing up all sorts of veggie-based dishes. Sounds like you got quite the haul! Have a fabulous Monday. :)

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Brittany and Julie @ twosaucysisters July 23, 2012

Mmmmmm this looks wonderful! When we worked as prep cooks last summer, we chopped up the veggies for ratatouille on an almost daily basis, but that hasn`t caused us to stop loving it! Our garden is bursting with zuchinni, and hopefully we will see our tomatoes and peppers turning red soon, so when that happens we`ll make this for sure!

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Angela July 23, 2012

I was so excited last summer when my veggies turned red. It’s such a fun experience. Enjoy it!

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Holly W July 23, 2012

How perfect for my large yellow squash and zucchini that I picked up at the farmer’s market over the weekend! All I need is some eggplant and I’m set. This is a much better recipe than what I was going to make, so I’m totally thrilled that you posted this this morning. Can’t wait for dinner tonight!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 23, 2012

Hope you enjoy it Holly!

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Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy July 23, 2012

what gorgeous ratatouille! wow! love the colors!

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Yellow Haired Girl July 23, 2012

So colorful! Looks fantastic!

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Emily @ www.main-eats.com July 23, 2012

That looks so yummy and fresh for summer. It is truly amazing how the most simple dishes are the most delicious! Thanks for sharing-I have LOTS of veggies to use up this week!

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Gail July 23, 2012

I work about 2 miles from the theater and I drive by it every day to and from work. I was working the night it happened, and the news started reported it about 2:40am. We were, of course, glued to the tv after that. I was so anxious that day because I work with a lot of people who live in Aurora, and who have teenagers that could’ve been there. Thankfully, no one I know so far was at that theater but it is still so sad that it happened. It’s hard to make heads or tails about it, how someone could do this. But, then I have to remember that this person is a complete psychopath and it’s impossible to figure it out since my brain doesn’t work like his. One of my co-worker’s daughter died at Columbine. I don’t know how he is handling this since he was off on Friday. I hope he’s doing ok, I’m sure this is bringing flashbacks. As with any tragedy, it’s cool to see the whole community come together. I’ve noticed that since the shooting, people in stores and on the streets seem to be a little bit nicer to each other. I think it’s something everyone wants to do to try to make us all feel human.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all of the people affected by this. I love my state and I love the people in it.

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Angela July 23, 2012

Hey Gail,
I can only imagine how you are feeling right now, especially being so close. truly haunting, I’d imagine. My heart goes out to you and your community!

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Mary July 23, 2012

Thanks for the Colorado shout out. I live in Aurora and go to graduate school at UC-Denver, our whole community is very shaken.

P.S. I found Praline Crunch flavor Almond Dream this weekend! So. Amazing.

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Angela July 23, 2012

I can only imagine Mary. :(

Thanks for letting me know about the Praline Crunch flavour…I hope to see it in Canada soon.

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gail July 23, 2012

It looks like my previous comment didn’t make it. I work about 2 miles from the Aurora theater and I drive by it all the time. I work with a lot of people who live in Aurora, and thankfully, as far as I know no one was there that night. This is just horrible what happened and everyone is still in so much shock that it happened again in our beautiful state. It saddens me to think that someone has it in them to perform such an outrageous act, but it makes me very happy and proud to see how the community has pulled together to survive this. I’ve noticed that in the last few days whenever I’m out and about, it seems like people are just nicer to each other. I think we need to be to feel human.

My thoughts and prayers are with all those that are affected by this. I love this state and I love the people in it. Also, the emergency responders and hospital staff are all amazing wonderful people. I hope they all get awarded for their wonderful work they do. There was a memorial last night in Aurora and whenever a speaker mentioned the police or fire department, huge roars of appreciation went up in the audience – very cool.

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Andrea @ Vegvacious July 23, 2012

This couldn’t be more perfect for a warm summer evening! It would be a great side to serve at a bbq!

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Laura July 23, 2012

I always buy too much at the farmer’s market too! I like the Burlington mall one too b/c it’s not huge! (if you’ve ever been to the st. Jacob’s one you’ll understand the difference – I grew up with it down the street). I currently have oodles of roma tomatoes to use up this week.

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Angela July 23, 2012

I know what you mean! I grew up going to St Jacobs too. I have such fond memories there, but yes a totally different experience.

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Rachel July 23, 2012

Yum! I’ve been wanting to make ratatouille for so long now..

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Stefania @ Revitalize with Stefania July 23, 2012

I also posted Friday before I read the news. Craziness. I can’t imagine what they’re going through.

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Mary @ Veganfully Me July 23, 2012

Yum, will definitely have to try this one out soon!

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Michelle @ Eat Move Balance July 23, 2012

Looks delicious–I love all summer veggies. But my husband will not eat eggplant. Ever. So, I’d have to leave that out–but I think I could just use more zucchini instead. :)

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Marie July 23, 2012

I would love to see your take on zucchini bread!! Is this a new recipe you’re working on?

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Angela July 23, 2012

Yes it is :) looooove me some zucchini bread.

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The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh July 23, 2012

I’ve never made it before but between you and the little cartoon mouse touting it’s awesomeness, perhaps I should get to it.

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Cookie and Kate July 23, 2012

I adore ratatouille, but I’ve never made it myself because it seemed like too much work to cook all the vegetables separately! Love your version, it seems much easier and I know I’d love it.

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Angela July 23, 2012

That’s how I felt about it too…I’m so lazy in the summer, I just want my food super easy. I would like to make the traditional version at some point though. Maybe for company! ha

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Jessica July 23, 2012

So pretty and so tasty sounding! The prefect dish for someone like me who’s not that into veggies…

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Averie @ Averie Cooks July 23, 2012

Such a pretty, colorful dish & I love the pic of the carrots on the farmers market table – so rustic and gorgeous. I want to dive in!

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Beks July 23, 2012

How coincidental! My other was just telling me last night to make a ratatouille with some leftover squash and tomatoes. Thanks! I’m going to try this tonight!

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Kasandra July 23, 2012

Wow, the farmer’s market vegetables look BEAUTIFUL! I’ve never seen carrots like that before! I love my farmer’s market, but it seems to be a mini one where they don’t tend to go all out with different heirloom varieties and such. Jealous of your selections.. but can’t wait to see what else comes of the trip!

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Angela July 23, 2012

I think it was the first time I’ve seen carrots like that at a market before, so of course, I had to take a picture. ;)

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Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin July 23, 2012

I love the Burlington market! My sister works at Hutchinson farm, which has a stand there, and she’s always bringing home zucchini and eggplant, so we’ve been making a lot of ratatouille lately too. It’s such a perfect summer meal!

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Claire @ green 'n' golden July 23, 2012

Great idea for a fresh, colorful summer meal! I’ve yet to make my own ratatouille and yours looks like an easy way to try it out. Looking forward to making this!

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Zestful Lou July 23, 2012

I seem to have the same problem at farmer’s markets. I never come with recipes in mind and I just wander up and down the rows of fresh produce and then usually leave empty handed, or with just a few of the “usual” veggies in my basket. There’s a recipe in the 101 Cookbooks cookbook for chantrelle tacos that look lovely. I’ve always wanted to buy the interesting mushrooms at the market and now that I have a recipe for them, I’m going to do it!

Do you think you’ll be posting that bread and butter pickle recipe?

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Anna July 23, 2012

Gosh, that looks tasty! I have a zucchini and an eggplant from the farmers’ market this weekend — this looks like the perfect way to use them up! With some bread and some beans on the side maybe, it would be just perfect!

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Allie LeFevere July 23, 2012

That looks delicious! I came into A LOT of zucchini lately (I’m talking TONS), so I will absolutely make this recipe tonight.

Thanks for inspiring!

xx
Allie

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Lauren July 23, 2012

I really love the combination of flavors and spices in ratatouille. It’s funny, I became intrigued by it after seeing the Disney movie, if you can believe that. The only untraditional thing I may have to add is cheese! :-D

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Kim@healthyhungrygirl July 23, 2012

Yum! The ratatouille looks delish. Your photos are beautiful.

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Victoria @ The Pursuit of Hippieness July 23, 2012

This is my dilemma EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I go to the farmer’s market! I was there this morning and literally said to myself “You need to make a list for once in your life!”

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