After last post’s summer-in-a-bowl, I was immediately ready for round two.
When the growing seasons’s at its prime, produce combinations fare to rarely ever bore me. As [insert singer of your choice here] says, “Gotta get it while the gettin’s good.”
In the August, the garden is good, and my fork is gettin’ it.
Ratatouille remains a yearly favorite. It’s easy. It’s flexible. It’s quick, healthy, beautiful, and a million other adjectives.
To it, you can add chickpeas. You could add eggplant. You could add fresh thyme, pair it with bread, or top it with cheese. None of this I did. But you could, if you so please.
That’s the beauty of ratatouille.
For my ratatouille, I generally do a combination of summer squash, tomatoes, onions and eggplant. I didn’t have eggplant available this time around, but I did have corn, so I whipped up this fancy-but-not-actually-fancy topping.
The corn adds an extra sweetness and crunch, which pairs well with the creamy grains placed beneath it. It’s also adds just one extra summery touch to a bowl full of already natural August goodness.
Again, when veggies are fresh and local, you really needn’t do much to them but put them together and let their flavors swim free. Ready in 45 minutes or less (depending on your grain choice), this recipe lends itself well to a weeknight meal that’ll leave you feeling great. Pair with a side of protein, or sprinkle some toasted walnuts on top and call it a meal. Then most importantly, let your fork get in on that good.
- -1 1/2 cups dry millet or polenta, cooked according to package directions
- -2-3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, plus more to drizzle corn
- -1 large onion, sliced
- -4 garlic cloves, diced
- -2 thin-fleshed green peppers, sliced (something like this - they're not real big)
- -2 extra large, or 3 medium, tomatoes, diced
- -1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- -2 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
- -1 tsp. red chili pepper flakes
- -2 medium zucchini, sliced in half-moons
- -1 large cooked ear of corn, cut from the cob
- -1/2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
- -Salt, to taste
- -Hot sauce, optional
- In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high. Add onion, garlic and peppers, and saute until edges of the onions begin to brown, stirring occasionally.
- Add tomatoes, herbs, and chili pepper flakes, and season the pan generously with salt. Let cook 3 minutes, then add zucchini. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until zucchini are tender and some of the tomato juice cooks off, about 8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, toss corn with parsley, a drizzle of olive oil and dash of salt. Set aside. When ratatouille is finished adjust salt, to taste. Then, drizzle polenta or millet with olive oil, and place ratatouille on top. Add a spoonful of the corn. Serve, adding a dash or two of hot sauce, if using.
I love polenta with ratatouille, but will occasionally use millet for a nuttier, less creamy substitute. Feel free to experiment with the grain of your choice.