In my White Barn Basil Pesto post, I mentioned how we were completely in love with our new White Barn Inn Cookbook and that we would be posting a few of their recipes.
As some parts of our garden continue to grow and others die out, this was a great recipe for our zucchini, summer squash, eggplant and peppers. It was an easy recipe which devoted most of its time to the chopping of vegetables. Once that was completed, it takes about 15 minutes to cook and serve.
There was an interesting ingredient in this ratatouille which caught me off guard. For all the beautiful garden vegetables included in the recipe...where were the tomatoes? Instead they used V-8 juice. At first I had visions of my dad drinking it every morning for breakfast. V-8 has a distinct flavor that you either love or hate, I'll go with the latter. I couldn't figure out how this was going to taste. But then, you have to think about how some great tomato sauces are started with carrots and celery.
I poured in the V-8 and finished mixing the vegetables. The ratatouille was delicious especially using the garden fresh vegetables. You could really taste the individual flavors of the peppers, squash and eggplant. Jeff and I kept wondering if we needed to add some fresh herbs or parsley because this ratatouille is normally served with an herb roasted lamb on top, along with a pesto potato puree. All of these parts to the meal bring additional flavor to the ratatouille. Truthfully, it was delicious as it was. Sometimes simple is just plain BETTER!
It was nice to enjoy a dish, fresh from the garden with the distinct flavor of peppers, squash and eggplant grabbing every taste bud.
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped to 1/4 inch pieces
1 medium eggplant, chopped to 1/4 inch pieces
1 medium zucchini, chopped to 1/4 inch pieces
1 medium yellow summer squash, chopped to 1/4 inch pieces
1 medium yellow bell pepper, chopped to 1/4 inch pieces
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped to 1/4 inch pieces
1/2 cup of V-8 juice
salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until transparent but not brown, about 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium high and add the peppers, yellow squash, zucchini and eggplant at 1 minute intervals, stirring continuously. Once all the vegetables have been added, cook an additional 5 minutes.
Add the V-8 juice and cook for 5 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste. This dish can be made a day ahead to better incorporate flavors.