Cookin' Outdoors with Johnny Nix                                
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Farm Fresh Ratatouille

1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes

Sea salt

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, more if needed

1 large white onion cut into ¼ inch cubes

4 tablespoons minced garlic

4 large tomatoes cut into ½ inch cubes

4 plum tomatoes cut into ½ inch cubes

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

2 medium green bell peppers, seeded and cut into ½ inch cubes

2 medium summer squash, cut into ½ inch cubes

2 medium zucchini, cut into ½ inch cubes

6 to 8 fresh basil leaves thinly diced

Fresh ground black pepper

 

Place eggplant cubes on paper towel, and lightly salt.  Let stand for 30 minutes to sweat.  Mop up the moisture on the cubes with more paper towels. 

 

Heat a 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan.  Add the eggplant, and cook, stirring a few times, until browned: remove from the pan and set aside.

 

Add a little more oil, the onion, and salt to taste, and cook over medium heat, stirring a few times, until the onion is softend and very aromatic, 7 to 8 minutes: don’t allow the onion to color.  Add the garlic and cook stirring 2 to 3 minutes.  Add tomatoes, water, wine, thyme, vinegar, and rose mary and season salt to taste.  Simmer uncovered until the tomatoes become very puply and have broken apart, 15 to 20 minutes.

 

Add the bell pepper and cook 5 minutes.  Add the summer squash and zucchini, return the eggplant to the pan, season with salt and cook over low heat, uncovered until the squash and eggplant are softened, 15 to 20 minutes.

 

Stir in sliced basil, taste for salt and pepper then simmer covered 15 minutes.