When we lived in Massachusetts we had a nice garden. There the growing season is short but if you get your garden started early enough you can get a nice yield. I had a used rototiller, which was borrowed a lot by all of James’ soccer parents. The contest, we soon learned, was who could get their garden started soonest without incurring frost; so it was a kind of gamble you played. If you won, you would have more tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, at the end of the year.
Once I learned that this was the trick, I soon joined in; but we discovered that at the end of the year we would be awash in so many vegetables that there was no way we could eat them all. What we would do is get a giant pot and cut everything up and make ratatouille. Some of it we would eat right away, but the rest was put in freezer bags and put up for the winter. Even so we got tired of eating ratatouille. Then Laura got the idea to make a souffle by adding eggs and cheese and baking it. That was wonderful and we enjoyed it many times. Nowadays when I make ratatouille, I bake it in the oven. This has the advantage of giving the vegetables that additional roasted character besides being much easier than cooking on the stove top.
Now that we have our place in Oregon and we have a yard again, we plan on building some raised bed gardens and growing some of our favorite vegetables once again.
|Author: Laura Kirkley
Much easier than making it on top of the stove.
Roasted Ratatouille Souffle
1 each, eggplant – cubed – 1/2 inch
1 head, garlic – broken into cloves
1 large, onion – chopped coarsely
4 medium, zucchini – cubed – 1/2 inch
1 green pepper – seeded and cubed – 1/2 inch
1/4 cup, Italian flat leaf parsley – chopped
2 cans, tomato – cut 1/2 inch pieces
12 sprigs, fresh thyme
1 teaspoon, dry oregano
2 teaspoons, sugar
extra virgin olive oil
fresh ground black pepper
4 eggs – optional
1 cup, Swiss cheese – grated optional
FOR THE RATATOUILLE:
- Preheat oven to 425.
- In a large roasting pan add eggplant, onion and garlic. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil to lightly coat.
- Toss. Season liberally with kosher salt and black pepper, add thyme.
- Place in oven for 20 minutes. Toss occasionally.
- Add zucchini and green pepper and roast for 10 minutes.
- Add canned tomatoes with liquid and sugar and a bit more salt. Add oregano and mix. Reduce heat to 375 degrees.
- Let roast for 15 – 20 more minutes continuing to toss occasionally. When liquid is mostly gone it is ready to serve. Remove thyme sprigs, add parsley and toss.
FOR THE SOUFFLE:
- Butter a souffle dish.
- Fold 4 cups of ratatouille with 4 beaten eggs and 1 cup of Swiss cheese. Pour into souffle dish.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.