Ratatouille Without The Eggplant
Ratatouille (pronounced rat-a-too-ee) is a wonderful vegan French peasant dish that is a medley of summer veggies. There are onions, zucchini, tomatoes, and eggplant beautifully seasoned with basil, oregano and more. If you have have an aversion to eggplant, you may have been studiously avoiding this dish. But now you can enjoy ratatouille without the eggplant!
The great part of this recipe is that you don’t have to wait for all the fresh produce to show up – you just need a couple of fresh items – and a well stocked pantry will do the rest.
Zucchini is inexpensive and available in the stores almost any time of year because it grows prolifically. Bell peppers are another staple in the grocery stores – these can be pricier, but a key ingredient.
(I actually prefer the little snack bell peppers. They deliver a lot more flavor than the large bell peppers that are out of season. Once bell peppers are in season and available at the farmer’s markets, this will no longer be the case).
Onions and garlic are something almost everyone has on hand. And for the rest, you can use canned goods and herbs and spices to make it super easy, and super quick. Now for the recipe…
- 2 medium-sized zucchini (1 1/2 pounds, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/2″ pieces)
- 1 large red pepper or 6-8 of the small sweet snack-sized peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2″ pieces
- 1 medium onion chopped coarsely
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 cans (14 1/2 oz) Italian-seasoned diced tomatoes
- 1 can (15 1/2 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning (or equal parts of basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme)
- 1/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1/8 tsp pepper flakes
- 3 cups cooked brown rice
- Prepare brown rice according to package directions. This step will take the longest so start with this before you begin to chop the produce.
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Coat a baking sheet with non-stick olive oil or line it with a silicone baking sheet. Toss the prepared zucchini and bell peppers with 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Bake at 425 for 30 mins or until tender.
- Heat remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until the pieces are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute being careful not to burn it. Stir in the tomatoes with juice and chickpeas and simmer while the other veggies are roasting. Just stir occasionally.
- Add roasted zucchini and peppers and remaining seasonings.
- Cook another 5 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
- Serve over the cooked brown rice.
Voila! You have a really healthy vegan dish that is sure to be a crowd pleaser. If you want to add shredded parmesan as a topper, go right ahead. I serve this with a fresh green salad. What a great way to get in a lot of veggies – and no one will complain about it because it tastes that good.
This recipe is modified from a recipe I found in Family Circle.