Any recipe that starts out with sauteed garlic and onions shows promise in my book. This dish began by sauteing 2 onions, 4 garlic cloves, and a bay leaf in olive oil for about 5 minutes.
Then, add a medium eggplant (or 2 small, in my case), either 1.5 T fresh basil or 2 tsp dried basil (so bummed I had already frozen my basil!), 1 tsp rosemary, 1 tsp marjoram, and 1.5 t salt. Cook, covered until eggplant is soft (15-20 minutes or so).
Put on some relaxing music, and chop the rest of the veggies. There is something therapeutic about chopping vegetables. I’m not sure why, but it’s even better than yoga.
Finally, add 2 summer squash, 2 sweet peppers, and 2 cups of tomatoes (or 1 gartantuan heirloom tomato) and simmer until the rest of the veggies are tender.
As you can see from the photo, it is a beautiful medley of summer vegetables. I wish you could smell it through the computer, it is absolutely heavenly. I served it over polenta (not homemade, although there is a recipe for this in Simply in Season – I had some already made in my cupboard) with fresh grated parmesan cheese. You can also garnish with parsley and/or black olives, which would be super pretty.
This recipe gets a “very good” rating. The husband didn’t even give me too much crap about it not having any protein/meat in it. Another great recipe from Simply in Season.
Greek Fennel Skillet
Across the page from the Summer Garden Ratatouille is the Greek Fennel Skillet, which I made earlier this summer. It begins by sauteeing 2 cloves of garlic in olive oil (gotta love that!) then add 2 julienned fennel bulbs and an onion for about 5-10 minutes, then add 1 T lemon juice and 3 medium chopped tomatoes. Finish by stirring in 1.5 C of cheese (I used fromage blanc because that’s what I had on hand, but I think feta or mozzarella would have been better. It ended up looking kind of pink as the fromage blanc dissolved. It tasted nice and creamy, but it diluted the flavor so I added some salt, fresh cracked pepper, and black olives. I served this one over polenta too. The recipe says you can also serve it over pasta or atop crusty bread. Yum.