I’m always trying to find new ways to use eggplant and in keeping with my motto of eating with the seasons, I thought I’d play around and see what appeased my discriminating palate. While ratatouille isn’t original, I have added just about everything from the farmers’ market (save the fruit) and cooked up two variations.
Ratatouille over Polenta
And now to mention the nutritional bennies eggplant contains: it is heart healthy, high in potassium, vitamins A, C, and B complex. It’s also a good source of fiber and is low in calories (just 28 in 1 cup.) I guess because eggplant seems more substantial, I would have thought that number to be higher – but that’s what makes it an ideal food for weight control.
So here’s my version of this late summer dish using those yummy tomatoes we just canned and roasted:
If you have time, sprinkle the eggplant with salt once sliced to extract some of its bitterness. I made dishes with both soft rosemary polenta , and baked over farro pasta.
Ratatouille over Farro
(like rigatoni – only whole grain)
Ratatouille – Serves 6
2 yellow onions, diced
2 cans diced tomatoes (14 oz. ea.)
2 cups roasted tomatoes
1 medium eggplant, sliced
2 zucchini or yellow squash, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced and seeded
1 medium fennel bulb, sliced
Fresh oregano and sage or dried Italian herbs
Red wine vinegar
A big wedge of Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
Preheat grill. Brush eggplant, fennel, pepper and squash with olive oil and sea salt. Grill to desired texture and set aside. Chop once cool.
Sweat onions in olive oil, lightly salted. Allow to cook until soft, no color. Deglaze pan with small amount of vinegar and reduce until pan is dry. Add canned tomatoes and allow to cook until juices reduce, forming stew-like consistency. Add herbs and season to taste. Combine with all tomatoes and grilled veggies.
Serve over soft polenta or whole grain pasta (photo below) and top with freshly grated cheese.