I remember hating ratatouille as a child. I only rediscovered it a couple of years ago when I had an abundance of zucchini and eggplants and did not yet have many recipes for them. Luckily, I realized that the secret to delicious ratatouille is to cook it super long so that everything blends and it almost becomes a sauce. So, unlike me, my daughters really like ratatouille, even Cammy likes the liquid from the ratatouille mixed with his rice.
This year, I realized that the concept of ratatouille was perfect for the slow cooker. So I have found another good summer use of the slow cooker, and avoided hours of having gas burner on the stove on.
There are many ways to use ratatouille: with rice or bread it can be a meal on its own, it can be a side with chicken, or, as I used it tonight, as a sauce with a simple poached tilapia and basmati rice. It was a tasty, and very healthy, combination.
3/4 pounds eggplant, chopped fairly small (from the garden)
1 medium zucchini, chopped (from the garden)
2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 pound of tomatoes, the riper the better, chopped (from the garden)
1/4 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch of kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
First, place the eggplant in a colander, sprinkle with kosher salt and let stand in the sink for 1/2 hour to sweat the eggplant.
Rinse the eggplant to remove the salt.
Place all the remaining ingredients in a crock pot. Add salt and pepper and stir well.
Cook for a very long time. I cooked it on low for 3 hours, followed by high for 2 hours, and then high for another hour with the lid removed to thicken the mixture a bit. You can just cook it on low for 6-8 hours, but I was enjoying playing around with it. Nice thing about ratatouille, it is forgiving and hard to overcook.
Serves 4 – 6. Enjoy!