~by Min Kwon, RD
If you read my previous post, you know that I spent the month of July overseas in Korea visiting family and friends. A HUGE part of vacationing, especially outside of the country, is experiencing and trying foods that you wouldn’t normally encounter on a daily basis. While, yes, I am Korean and I knew what most of the foods were (although some were exotic even to me), to be in a place where they’ve been perfected…definitely an exhilarating experience. Having said that, even though the first few weeks were glorious, after awhile, my tummy cried for help and declared war on me. I’ll spare you the details.
I definitely had a wonderful time, but I was thankful to return home to my kitchen where I could finally control the ingredients and put my own spin on the things I’d be eating. There was no denying that I had swelled up like a Jigglypuff while in Korea from eating so much sodium-laden food. Not a pretty sight.
Light and healthy was on my mind, and with my CSA share, I was able to see it come to life. In an effort to pack as much fresh summer produce into one dish as I possibly could, ratatouille was prepared and devoured. While there are many variables to take into consideration when making traditional ratatouille (like cooking each vegetable separately, adding plenty of olive oil, using canned tomatoes and their juices, baking in the oven, etc), I decided to keep things simple.
Be forewarned. The prep work is a bit time consuming and tedious. On a positive note, though, it’s the perfect opportunity to sharpen your knife skills. With the eggplants, I highly advise that you set aside some time to soak them in salt to remove excess moisture. Once the veggies are all prepped and ready to go, throw them into a Dutch oven and allow the magic to happen. Keep in mind - if you want a silkier, more stew-like consistency, increase the simmering time. During the summer months, I prefer mine to be not too liquid-y.
When making this ahead of time, let it cool after cooking and then refrigerate (stop at step 2 of instructions). When ready to serve, reheat slowly or serve cold. However, if you want to make it a more well-rounded meal, I highly recommend that you consider adding some poached eggs. Serve with basil (and possibly cheese) along with some crusty bread, and you’ve got yourself an incredible meal. Enjoy!
Use up those summer veggies in this Ratatouille with Poached Eggs - great any time of day! Tweet this
Ratatouille with Poached Eggs
serves 4 to 6
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 medium eggplants, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon herbs de provence
- 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
- 2 cups diced grape tomatoes
- 1 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Fresh eggs
- Goat cheese (optional)
- Sriracha (optional)
- Baguette, sliced 1 inch thick and toasted
- Chop eggplants and toss with a tablespoon of salt. Let drain for 30 minutes. Rinse well, squeezing out excess water. Pat dry and set aside.
- In the meanwhile, add oil to a large dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot and place over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly caramelized, about 5-7 minutes. Add eggplant, zucchini, garlic, 1 teaspoon herbs de provence, salt and pepper. Cover pot and cook to soften vegetables, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes and 1/2 cup basil. Cover pot once again and simmer until tomatoes are softened and flavors are concentrated.
- Stir in balsamic vinegar. Make nests or wells in the ratatouille and crack an egg into each nest. Cover pot and cook eggs to desired doneness, 2-5 minutes. Serve with extra basil and optional - goat cheese and/or sriracha.