Ratatouille…It’s Oh So Good!

Ratatouille with cauliflower

I had a strange craving for ratatouille tonight. Why? Who knows…it’s one of those cold-weather dishes I usually reserve for nights when it’s chilly outside and I want a warm, hearty meal. But why not make it in summer? It’s got zucchini, eggplant and yummy tomatoes, what could be better?

Daughter loves cauliflower, and since I had half a head in the fridge (the cauliflower’s, not mine) and since I didn’t have any peppers, the cauliflower went into the dish as an excellent substitute. I didn’t miss the peppers at all and quite honestly, it’s the best ratatouille I’ve ever made and I’ll do it with cauliflower from now on. Can I still call it ratatouille? Hmmm…

The end result is a sweet, crunchy, hearty dish that melts in your mouth. Trust me, this is fabulous and there is a lot left over to share with friends or eat for lunch for a few days. Not only that, it’s GF, vegetarian and vegan if you leave off the shredded Parmesan Daughter sprinkled on top. Serve it over rice or noodles, or rice noodles if that’s something you like, but trust me, this dish stands up all by itself. For a little protein, I’m thinking of throwing in some tofu or Quorn next time, just for a change. Although, this needs no improvement at all.

Hint: chop all the veggies about the same size, It’s easier to cook that way and better to eat when everything is uniform. The pan may look full before you add the tomato sauce, but once the veggies cook down, you’ll have plenty of room.

Ratatouille with cauliflower
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
1 large eggplant, chopped
1 large or 2 medium zucchini, chopped
1/2 head of cauliflower broken into bite-sized pieces
1 28 oz. can Trader Joe’s Low Fat Tuscano Marinara Sauce (or your favorite)
1 Tbs tomato paste
2 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp of basil, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper

1. Use a large saute pan and saute onion until translucent in 1 Tbs. olive oil.
2. Add zucchini and cook another 5 minutes.
3. Add eggplant and cauliflower and toss with salt and pepper and 1 Tbs olive oil
4. Stir and let the veggie simmer until they reduce in size and soften.
5. Add marinara, tomato paste and spices.
6. Simmer for about 15 minutes until all the flavors come together. Test for salt and pepper and serve as is, or over rice.

This is even better the second day once all the flavors have set together overnight. Too good for words… My Daughter loves Parmesan cheese on everything and this was great with a little shredded Parm on top, but not a necessity.

Enjoy!

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