Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Ratatouille with Eggs

I was too late for meatless Monday with this recipe but just in time for Tuesday night!  I am a fan of cooking eggs in well seasoned soups and stews.  And I must admit I had been craving this combination for a couple of weeks.  When I ran across a recipe for ratatouille last week I knew it was time. 

I used the recipe for Alice Water's Ratatouille as the base for this dish.  When the Ratatouille was done I used a spoon to create four "wells" in it.  Into each "well" went a raw egg that was then seasoned with salt and coarse black pepper.  I put the pan into the oven and let the eggs cook until I liked their doneness.  Voila:  dinner.  It went pretty well with slices of slightly toasted crusty bread.  I hope you will try it and let me know what you think.

The following photo is the dish still in pan.  At the end is a photo of the dish plated.  This would be wonderful done in individual casserole dishes.
Here is the recipe for Alice Water’s Ratatouille

Serves 6 to 8
  • 1 medium or 2 small eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more to taste
  • 2 medium onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 4 to 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch of basil, tied in a bouquet with kitchen twine + 6 basil leaves, chopped
  • pinch of dried chile flakes
  • 2 sweet peppers, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 medium summer squash, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 ripe medium tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • Salt to taste
  1. Toss the eggplant cubes with a teaspoon or so of salt. Set the cubes in a colander to drain for about 20 minutes.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot. Pat the eggplant dry, add to the pan, and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden. Add a bit more oil if the eggplant absorbs all the oil and sticks to the bottom of the pan. Remove the eggplant when done and set aside.
  3. In the same pot, pour in 2 more tablespoons olive oil. Add onions and cook for about 7 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, basil bouquet, dried chile flakes, and a bit more salt.
  4. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, then stir in peppers. Cook for a few more minutes, then stir in summer squash. Cook for a few more minutes, then stir in tomatoes.
  5. Cook for 10 minutes longer, then stir in eggplant and cook for 10 to 15 minutes more, until all the vegetables are soft. Remove the bouquet of basil, pressing on it to extract all its flavors, and adjust the seasoning with salt.
  6. Stir in the chopped basil leaves and more extra virgin olive oil, to taste. Serve warm or cold.

My changes to the recipe:
I seasoned lightly with salt and pepper with each addition of vegetable and the tomato.
I omitted the extra olive oil.
And of course, I cooked the eggs in it at the end.
(While I cooked my eggs in the oven you could also just cover the pan and let the eggs steam on stove top over low to medium heat.)
 The following photo is the finished dish.

Until next time:
Bon Appetit Y'all
Chef Leslie Bartosh

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