Monday, August 9, 2010

Grilled Ratatouille Salad

"I think I bought too many vegetables," I said the other night, staring at a counter full of eggplant, peppers, zucchini, squash, and onion. 
"Well how many is the recipe for?" my husband asked, looking a bit daunted himself. 
"I guess it should be alright then."
"I added things," I admitted, as I grabbed my knife.

This vegetable thing might be getting out of hand. The weight loss thing is going pretty well (134.9 as of Sunday morning, thank you very much) but the quest as well as the onslaught of seasonal vegetables has turned me into, well I'd say a temporary vegetarian but the NY Times might sue me. And it's not really true either, I had a hot dog at Water Taxi Beach the other day and I'm sure I'm pretty sure a turkey sub made it into my lunch rotation this week. Hey I work in Midtown, what do you want from me? As far as cooking though, I haven't brought so much as a chicken breast into my apartment in two weeks.

The sale at Whole Foods read like the ingredient list for Ratatouille, a dish that roughly translates into "pile of late summer vegetables." There are chefs like Julia Child who insist you saute and layer each vegetable. Then there are radicals like the rat in the movie, making some crazy dish that wows the critics. The typical French stew seemed kind of heavy for the hot weather though, so I did some research and  found a recipe that called for grilling the vegetables, but it didn't include squash, which I consider a ratatouille staple, and while it called for red pepper I had a green one just sitting in my fridge... so I used both.

Grilled Ratatouille Salad with Feta Cheese
Adapted from Bon Appetit

- 1 12-14 oz eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds
- 1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise
- 1 yellow squash
- 1 red bell pepper, cut lengthwise into 6 strips
- 1 green bell pepper, cut lengthwise into 6 strips
- 1 medium onion, cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds
- 3 tablespoons olive oil

- 2 to 3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

Place grill pan over medium heat. Place vegetables on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, turn to coat. Grill vegetables until tender and tinged brown, turning frequently, about 6 minutes for eggplant, zucchini, and squash, and about 10 minutes for bell peppers and onion. If your grill pan is not big enough for all that food (like mine) work in batches transferring to a baking sheet in a 200 degree oven to keep warm.

Divide vegetables between 2 plates; drizzle with vinegar. Sprinkle cheese over and serve.  

All the vegetables were very tasty. This might have been great as a side dish, but passing it off as a main dish lacked something. Traditionally ratatouille is served over rice or pasta, so that probably would have served this as well. I have been reaping the benefits of my pile of cooked veggies for days though. Every morning for the next few days I was able to throw together an amazing egg white omelet in no time flat. Just chop up the leftovers (minus the eggplant, that got a little soggy) saute for about 2 minutes to heat them up, and they were fabulous to fill my breakfast. Not to mention the fantastic imported feta cheese I had purchased to finish the dish (and at $5 for the container there was no way I wasn't using that up). The August veggie binge continues. I swear, one of these days Will's going to bring home a raw steak and give me puppy eyes until I cook it. What are your favorite vegetables/preparations at this time of year? Leave it in the comments!

1 comment:

Mother Rimmy said...

Congratulations on the weight loss! This veggie dish looks fantastic. Right up my alley. I know what you mean about too many veggies for two people. My box of csa veggies and fruits keeps me busy for a week!

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