Meatless Monday: Late Summer Ratatouille

I love love LOVE ratatouille, it uses delicious late summer veggies you can pick up at the market and if you make up a whole bunch there are tons of ways you can use leftovers. A simple and easy French vegetable stew, check out the end of the recipe for some fun ways to use leftovers.

Ratatouille (serves about 8)

Olive oil, for cooking 1 large onion, halved and sliced 4-5 big garlic cloves, crushed 1 small eggplant, chopped into bite-sized pieces 1 red, yellow or orange pepper, chopped 1 zucchini, chopped into bite-sized pieces 3 ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped a few sprigs of fresh oregano or 1 tsp. dried a handful of fresh basil, chopped

In a large skillet, heat a generous splash of oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion, stirring occasionally, until soft and starting to turn golden. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, then add the eggplant and cook for another 5 minutes, adding more oil if needed, until the eggplant is soft. Add the pepper and zucchini, season with salt and pepper and cook for about 10 minutes, until everything is nice and soft and you’re starting to get some golden edges. Add the tomatoes and oregano and cook until everything is soft and the mixture is thick, with any excess moisture cooked off (you can add a few tablespoons of tomato paste to thicken it up if you'd like). Serve immediately or refrigerate overnight and reheat as you need it. Serve with some crusty French bread and you've got a perfect end of summer meal!

You can use the ratatouille as a great pizza topping, add some goat cheese, mozzarella or feta on top of your preferred pizza crust and bake. It's also a yummy bruschetta topping, or you can blend it up a bit and use as a pasta sauce (or leave it chunky if you prefer).