Toward the end of summer, and without fail, I make a batch of ratatouille. I like to think it’s my great grandfather’s influence on me (he was French). I also know that it’s a great way to put all the wonderful tasting vegetables of the season to good use. This year as well as making the usual recipe, I also tried this one. A cold ratatouille salad with cheese. Combined with some pita bread, and yes, of course, a loaf of fantastic French bread, it’s the perfect supper for some of the last scorching hot days of summer.
1 large onion, cut into wedges. I used red onion from the CSA box, but if you don’t have one I recommend a sweet variety.
2 medium zucchini, cubed
1 eggplant, diced…I used Asian but if you use the regular kind, salt and drain it first.
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 green pepper, and 1 red pepper, seeds removed, and cut into slices
1 tablespoon dried fennel…I dried some from the CSA box but if you don’t have any use fresh or even a teaspoon of fennel seeds. Or if you don’t like fennel leave it out.
2 tablespoons dried lemon basil…once again I’d dried some from the CSA box but you can use regular dried basil too
Good sprinkling of salt and pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups cubed cheese of your choice…I used mozzarella but I think feta would be perfect too
1/2 cup chopped black and green olives
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, toss all the vegetables with the fennel, basil, salt and pepper and oil.
Place the mixture in a roasting pan and bake for about 20 minutes, stirring often, and until they’re slightly browned and bite tender.
Transfer to a large bowl and let them cool for about five minutes.
Add the vinegar and make sure it coats all the vegetables.
Let the mixture cool a further five minutes and add the cubed cheese and olives.
Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
Optional, serve with some chopped fresh basil sprinkled over the top.
I’ll be taking a break for the next couple of weeks so Meatless Monday will be back on September 9th and I’ll be adding more fall food features and recipes to the blog.