About the only thing that really emerged from our raised bed this summer was a heckofalot of zucchini and some yellow crook neck squash. No vine-ripe tomatoes this year in our East Bay garden; between the cold summer and late start with the seedlings, we have some funny looking green tomatoes that will soon be fried and introduced to bacon. So with all the squash and zucchini piling up, I made use of the bounty of cheap heirloom tomatoes at Berkeley Bowl, and threw them together to make a simple, hearty ratatouille. This version is cooked in a pot, not baked, and the result is more like a veggie stew, with plenty of tomatoey liquid to accompany whatever you choose to serve it over. Polenta is always good, but this time I ladled it over some mini tortellini with great success. I also recommend a light grating of Parmesan cheese right before serving.
Summer Veggie Ratatouille
about 2 lbs heirloom tomatoes
about 3 lbs summer zucchini and squash, cubed
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped (I used a mix of red and white)
4-5 cloves garlic, diced
¾ cup water
¼ cup white wine
splash of fresh lemon juice
fresh black pepper
2 inch sprig of rosemary
about 3 Tbsps olive oil for cooking
1. In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add the tomatoes and remove after 2 minutes. Let them cool, then peel and remove seeds and stems. Coarsely chop.
2. In a medium pot, saute the onion in olive oil (about 1 Tbsp should do). When the onions are soft, add the garlic and cook for about 2 more minutes. Then add tomato, white wine, a pinch of salt, and the water. Cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile in a medium sized skillet or pan, saute the squash and zucchini. Cook for 7 minutes, adding a generous pinch of salt, black pepper, and a squeeze of lemon when almost done. Set aside.
*The yellow tomato pictured was firm and hard, so I didn’t bother peeling or deseeding it and just sauteed it with the rest of the veggies.
4. After the tomatoes have cooked 15 minutes, add the veggies and stir well. Add the rosemary sprig, cover and let simmer gently for about 15-20 minutes, or until veggies are as tender as you’d like. Remove lid and simmer for another 10 if you want to cook off some of the liquid.
5. Serve over polenta, couscous, or pasta of your choice.