Farmers Market Ratatouille

Hello again! Where did we leave off? Oh yes! I toted home a huge selection of fresh produce from the farmers market and was brainstorming ways to put it to good use. My first thought: some variation of a stuffed pepper. But then I remembered a beauty of a recipe that I had pinned a few weeks ago with the aim of using it as inspiration for my own version of the dish. And, coincidentally, I had pretty much everything I needed on hand. Decision made!

Start by popping some sliced eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash in the oven to roast.

While that’s cooking away, caramelize a wonderfully aromatic mix of garlic, onions and green pepper, then toss in a whole mess of tomatoes. Let it all get friendly and reduce.

Before                                                   After

Combine the two and you’ll have the most photogenic kitchen creation I think I’ve ever made!

Farmers Market Ratatouille, inspired by Wendyinkk

Serves 2-4

  • 5 mini or 2 Japanese eggplant
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 medium yellow squash
  • 1 tablespoon chicken broth
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 10 leaves basil
  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Slice eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash thinly with a very sharp knife or mandolin (watch your fingers!).
  3. Set out slices in a thin layer on a sheet pan and roast vegetables for about 15 minutes, until the edges just start to pull up from the pan. Remove from oven and set aside.
  4. Pour chicken broth to a saute pan and add in garlic and onion. Saute for five minutes or until slightly browned.
  5. Add green pepper and cook for one minute more. 
  6. Add chopped tomatoes and chili powder and cook for two additional minutes, then season with salt to taste. Continue cooking mixture until it thickens to desired consistency.
  7. Spoon tomato “sauce” mixture into the bottom of baking dishes (see right, top). Top with basil leaves (see right, middle). Alternate slices of eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash until the dish is full (see right). Reserve leftover vegetables for an alternate use, such as a sandwich or pasta dish.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes or until sauce begins to bubble around edges.

If you’re splitting the recipe into two large servings, as I did, each will contain about 130 vitamin-packed calories. One serving provides more than 120 percent of your daily vitamin C requirement and about 55 percent of your vitamin A requirement. And surprise: It also offers 5 1/2 grams of protein—nearly as much as an egg!

This ratatouille really lets the veggies shine. Do you prefer to disguise your produce, like by adding grated zucchini to muffins or steamed cauliflower to mac and cheese, or let their taste take center stage? And what are your favorite veggie-packed recipes (of any kind)?

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