Tag Archives: ratatouille

Roasted Provençal Vegetable Salad

~ Roasted Provençal Vegetable Salad with Couscous ~

Consider this as a deconstructed ratatouille – which happens to be oven roasted. The same cast of characters applies, only the method differs. An end of summer symphony of squash, eggplant, peppers and tomatoes are tossed together with olive oil and roasted in the oven until softened and gently charred, instead of simmered and thickened in a pot. The traditional ratatouille stew morphs into a roasted vegetable salad, freshened with a shower of fresh herbs and served over a bed of couscous for a light and healthy meal.

Roasted Provencal Vegetables Salad with Couscous

You may either roast the tomatoes with the vegetables or toss them in at the end for extra freshness. The salad is delicious as is or served over couscous, pasta, or quinoa. Serves 4 -6.

1 medium eggplant, cut in 1/2 inch slices, each slice quartered
2 small zucchini, cut in 1/2 inch slices
2 small yellow squash, cut in 1/2 inch slices
1 large red onion, halved horizontally, each half cut lengthwise in 4 thick chunks
6 baby sweet peppers, stemmed, seeded halved
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup Italian parsley sprigs, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, shredded
Optional: Crumbled goat or feta cheese as garnish

Heat oven to 375 F. (190 C.) Place all of the eggplant, zucchini, squash and onion in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Toss to coat. Arrange on 2 rimmed baking sheets in one layer. Place in oven. Bake until vegetables are tender and turning golden brown, rotating baking pans, to ensure even roasting. Remove from oven and cool. Transfer vegetables to a large bowl. Add tomatoes, garlic and fresh herbs. Toss. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Serve over couscous. Sprinkle with crumbled cheese if using.

If you like this you might like these recipes:
Ratatouille Gratin from TasteFood
Ratatouille Pickles from Leite’s Culinaria
Grilled Ratatouille Panini from Panini Happy
Pasta Provençal from TasteFood

Ratatouille Gratin

~ Ratatouille Gratin ~

It’s that time of year when the vegetables sneak up on you. A month ago, summer squash were elusive, appearing in the markets in small groups at a price. In the garden they were merely a hint of themselves peeking from their flowers. Purchases felt premature, tasting a little bitter, and costing too much for something you knew would soon be prolific.

~
Then, before you know it, a month has passed and squash are teeming everywhere. The garden is lobbing them to you like tennis balls, the market shelves are stacked with zucchini, crooknecks, and patty pans, ripe and ready for consumption. With the bounty, it’s time to get creative, because, ironically, it’s easy to tire of this abundance, and that is a shame.  So, yesterday I was determined to use my imagination to celebrate summer squash. Instead of a traditional ratatouille, I made a gratin. And before I made the gratin, I played a little bit with my food and made Ratatouille Stacks.

~ Ratatouille Stacks ~

The ingredients are identical, only the arrangement is different. Serve the gratins as side dishes or a light vegetarian meal. The stacks are fun appetizers.

Ratatouille Gratin

Be sure that the squash and eggplant have similar diameters. Makes 4 individual or 1 large gratin.

2 narrow Italian eggplant
2 zucchini
2 yellow squash
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 red peppers, roasted, seeded, skinned (or 1 jar piquillo roasted peppers, drained)
1 bunch basil leaves
6 ounces soft, fresh goat cheese

Preheat oven to 375 F. Slice eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash 1/4 inch thick. Arrange in one layer on an oiled baking tray. Brush the tops with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Turn on broiler and broil briefly until the vegetables begin to brown. Remove and cool.


~
Reduce oven temperature to 350 F. Cut the peppers in pieces no larger than the sliced vegetables and set aside.  Place an eggplant slice on the work surface. Smear a pea-sized amount of goat cheese in the center of the eggplant. Top with a squash slice. Smear with the goat cheese and top with a red pepper piece. Smear with goat cheese and top with a basil leaf. Repeat process, alternating with squash, eggplant, red pepper and basil leaves, always adhering with a pea-sized amount of goat cheese. (If forming stacks, top with a basil leaf and a little goat cheese, then impale with a toothpick).
If making a gratin, carefully transfer stacks to an oiled gratin dish and slightly fan out the layers. Repeat until gratin dish is full. Sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese. Bake gratin in the oven until heated through and cheese begins to brown, about 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

If you like this, you might enjoy these TasteFood recipes:
Roasted Yellow Beet and Ricotta Tian
Golden Onion Tart with Gruyere and Thyme
Tomato Confit

or these recipes from the food blogs:
Summertime Zuke Soup from Liz the Chef
Zucchini Cake with Crunchy Lemon Glaze from David Lebovitz
Quinoa Salad with Zucchini and Lemon from A Veggie Venture

Grilled Ratatouille Salad

Ratatouille Salad

Grilled Salad?  You bet. This version of Ratatouille is perfect in the summer when the season is lobbing a kaleidescope of Provençal vegetables our way. Instead of simmering eggplant, squash and peppers with tomatoes on the stove in the traditional Niçoise fashion, try grilling all of them on the barbecue.  Bright, colorful, and pleasantly charred, Grilled Ratatouille Salad is a healthy, summery side dish or salad.  Serve as an accompaniment to grilled meats and fish or as a smoky, crunchy stand-alone salad with crusty pain paysan. Alternatively, head further south in the Mediterranean for inspiration and add feta cheese and kalamata olives for a twist on Greek salad.

Grilled Ratatouille Salad
Serves 6 as a side dish

2-3 bamboo skewers
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
1 large, firm eggplant, cut horizontally in 1/2 inch thick slices
2 large red onions, cut horizontally in 1/2 inch thick slices
2 thin zucchini, halved lengthwise
2 thin yellow squash, halved lengthwise
2 red peppers, halved, seeded, stems removed
1 poblano pepper, halved, seeded, stem removed
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves minced
1 small bunch Italian parsley leaves, stems removed, chopped
1 small bunch basil leaves, ripped in half

Soak skewers 30 minutes before grilling.  Prepare grill for a medium-heat. Thread tomatoes on skewers.  Arrange the vegetables and tomato skewers on a large baking sheet.  Lightly drizzle with olive oil, and toss to coat thoroughly.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Transfer to grill (or broil in oven). Grill vegetables over medium direct heat, turning, until lightly charred and tender.  Transfer to platter; allow vegetables to cool slightly. Remove tomatoes from skewers and place in large bowl. Cut eggplant, onions, zucchini, squash and peppers in 1 inch pieces. Add to bowl with tomatoes.  Toss vegetables with 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, parsley, basil. Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with extra parsley and basil leaves.

Healthy BBQ’s for Labor Day

OK, so it’s not Julie and Julia,  but I am still very excited to share with you a video I made, courtesy of BlogHer’s The Juice with Jory Des Jardins.  In honor of the approaching Labor Day Weekend, Jory asked me to share some healthy tips for grilling.  Healthy grilling?  You bet!

Grilling is a subject I am passionate about.  Grilling makes almost anything taste great, it gets you cooking outdoors, and it’s very social and interactive.  During the summer, it’s the cooking method of choice, keeping the heat out of the kitchen, and putting the bounty of summer on the grill.  That’s right – those fruits and vegetables ripe in the garden and piled high in the markets at this time of the year?  They taste great on the grill, and they are healthy to eat.

Grilled Ratatouille Grilled vegetables can be tossed in salads, salsas or side dishes. Grilled Ratatouille takes the traditional summer veggie stew and elevates it with a charred smoky flavor for a delightful grilled salad.

Fattoush Salad Or grill just one component of the salad or dish to add a crisp and smoky bite.  Fattoush Salad includes grilled pita bread, which adds a distinctive toasted flavor and crunchy texture.

Eggplant Sandwiches If you want to wow your guests, yet still keep it easy, make Grilled Eggplant and Heirloom Tomato Sandwiches with Goat Cheese and Tomato Coulis. The eggplant is the star of the show and adds a creamy, charred flavor to the “sandwiches.”

Grilled Nectarines and Apricot As for grilling fruit, many types of fruit grill well.  Remember that grilling fruit is not about cooking but flavoring.  The heat of the grill caramelizes the natural sugars of the fruit, enhancing their flavor, leaving you wondering how anything can taste so sweet, so delicious and be so healthy, as with Grilled Nectarines and Apricots with Honey and Thyme.



BBQ Ribs And what about meat?  Grilling doesn’t just mean burgers, dogs and heavily sauced meat cuts (as much as we love them!)  Go with leaner pork and chicken.  Instead of sweet, sticky sauces, try a dry rub on Barbecued Pork Spareribs or smoke roasting a salted, whole chicken for savory, spicy, succulent results.

Fish skewers FIsh is another healthy winner on the grill.  Keep it light and simple with a Lemon-Dijon marinade for Grilled Halibut and Salmon Skewers.

The bottom line? Grilling is delicious and inspiring.  It’s communal and primitive, perfect for entertaining and enjoying the outdoors.  You can keep it down, dirty and simple, with paper plates and beer, or all dressed up with a decorated picnic table, cut flowers and posh cocktails.  The important thing is to have fun, invite friends and enjoy fresh, seasonal food when you fire up that BBQ this Labor Day!

Grilled Ratatouille Salad

Grilled Ratatouille

Grilled Salad?  You bet. This version of Ratatouille is perfect in the summer when the season is lobbing a kaleidescope of Provençal vegetables our way. Instead of simmering eggplant, squash, onions and peppers with tomatoes on the stove in the traditional Niçoise fashion, try grilling all of them on the barbeque.  Bright, colorful, and pleasantly charred, Grilled Ratatouille Salad is a healthy, summery side dish or salad.  Serve as an accompaniment to grilled meats and fish or as a smoky, crunchy stand-alone salad with crusty pain paysan. Alternatively, head further south in the Mediterranean for inspiration: Add feta cheese and kalamata olives to the grilled vegetables for a twist on Greek salad.

Grilled Ratatouille Salad
Serves 6 as a side dish

2-3 bamboo skewers

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
1 large, firm eggplant/aubergine, cut horizontally in 1/2″ thick slices
2 large red onions, cut horizontally in 1/2″ thick slices
2 thin zucchini/courgettes, halved lengthwise
2 thin yellow squash, halved lengthwise
2 red peppers, halved, seeded, stems removed
1 poblano pepper, halved, seeded, stem removed

Extra-virgin olive oil
1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves minced
1 small bunch Italian parsley leaves, stems removed, chopped
1 small bunch basil leaves, ripped in half
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Soak skewers 30 minutes before grilling.  Preheat grill or oven. Thread tomatoes on skewers.  Arrange all the vegetables and tomato skewers on a large baking sheet.  Lightly drizzle with olive oil, and toss to coat thoroughly.  Sprinkle with salt.  Grill vegetables on barbeque until nicely browned and just cooked through. (Or grill in one layer in oven, turning once.)

Allow vegetables to cool slightly. Remove tomatoes from skewers and place in large bowl. Cut eggplant, onions, zucchini, squash and peppers in 1″ pieces. Add to bowl with tomatoes.  Toss vegetables with 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, parsley, basil.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with extra parsley and basil leaves.