vegetable ratatouille

20110821-030650.jpg A slow cooker recipe that doesn't involve beans! This is one of those meals that you just feel good eating. It's packed full of vegetables and little else and, if you use vegetables at the peak of their season, there is so much flavor. The gentle heat of the slow cook method nudges the vegetables' flavors into perfect harmony. Bite after bite, you feel healthier (and happier) than the last.


This recipe is for a summer-inspired ratatouille using 6 small zucchini, 1 large eggplant, 2 small onions, 8 baby bell peppers of different hues (red, yellow, and orange), 6 cloves of minced garlic, and 3 hugs handfuls of small heirloom tomatoes. The dish is rustic, so no need to follow exact vegetable portions. Cut all the vegetables into bite-sized chunks and toss in the slow cooker. Add 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, 1/2 cup of water, a long drizzle of olive oil, and plenty of salt and pepper.


Stir to combine and then cover and cook over low heat for 8 hours. Use about 2 cups for dinner tonight. Let the remaining ratatouille cool and portion 2 cup servings into freezer bags to store. It will be good in the freezer for up to 2 months. This will allow you to enjoy a bite of summer in late fall! For dinner tonight, serve the ratatouille over penne pasta. Garnish with parmesan cheese.