My friends R and J work with North African Muslim immigrants in France, and one summer I had the privilege of helping out a little too. One afternoon, J set me to work helping her make a huge dinner of ratatouille for a wonderfully large group of guests (oh, for the good old days!!), which was so memorable that I asked if I could share her recipe with you. She’s actually made a small recipe book full of her favorite french and North African dishes, and this is one of the recipes in her book. I made it for (family) company recently (less than 10 of us), and they all approved. If you like fresh veggies, or vegetarian dishes, I think you’ll love this:
What I did was slightly different, so I’ll tell you what I did, but J’s crock-pot approach would doubtless be excellent too. I just wanted the veggies a little less cooked.
In a large skillet (or the bottom of a large cooking pot), chop and saute together in
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions
1 large green pepper
1 large red pepper.
3-5 cloves of minced garlic (about 3 tablespoons if previously prepared fresh or 2 T. dried)
When these have started to brown nicely, transfer to a large cooking pot and add the following chopped:
1 large eggplant
3 medium zucchini
3 medium onions
3 tablespoons fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste (I added:
1 teaspoon Lawry’s seasoning salt
1 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons pepper)
Just before serving, or if you’re making it to serve immediately after cooking, add:
1 six-ounce can of tomato paste
1 can black olives, chopped (I used a 12-oz. can and added the juice)
3 tablespoons fresh basil, then heat until it’s simmering and steaming again.
I think fresh bread is a must, but we also served it with a tossed salad and a bowl of watermelon. It’s definitely good enough to be a stand alone meal if served with bread and butter!
“Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith” (Proverbs 15:17). In these days of COVID concerns, a dinner of fresh herbs is a real treat! I had just been to the store before our family (who are also sheltering-in-place) arrived!