Spring Table: Spring Squash Ratatouille
This spring squash ratatouille recipe comes from the culinary team at TRACE, a restaurant in Austin that specializes in “eco-conscious cuisine” (there's an on-staff “forager” whose sole job is to work with local farmers and foodmakers to source ingredients). The vegan ratatouille makes good use of ample spring and summer vegetables—eggplant, zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes, peppers—along with fresh herbs. “Ratatouille with all the spring's first squashes is a favorite of mine,” says Chef Nadine Thomas. She likes to add swiss chard, kale, radishes, carrots or other market fresh vegetables to already veg-heavy dish.
Spring Squash Ratatouille
NUTRITION per serving: 133 calories, 11 grams fat, 9 grams carbs, 2 grams protein, 3 grams fiber, 29 mg calcium, 9 mg sodium
1 head of garlic
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 small eggplant
½ large yellow onion
2 bell peppers
1 medium zucchini
1 medium yellow summer squash
4 medium tomatoes
¼ cup sherry vinegar
1 tsp fresh thyme
8 leaves fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Wash vegetables.
2. Roast garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil covered in foil in 325° F oven for 20–30 minutes until soft and lightly browned.
3. Dice the eggplant, squashes, onion and peppers. (For a more rustic ratatouille, dice larger, and for a more refined, dice the vegetables smaller).
4. Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water and refresh in an ice bath. Peel, seed and dice the tomatoes.
5. Heat a heavy-bottom fry pan and add the remaining olive oil.
6. Add the eggplant and sauté until lightly browned and slightly softened.
7. Add the onion and continue to sauté 4 minutes.
8. Add the peppers and squashes and continue sautéing until all the vegetables are evenly cooked, seasoning as you go with salt and freshly ground pepper.
9. Add the tomatoes last, cook long enough for most of the liquid to evaporate, check seasoning and add sherry vinegar, fresh herbs and 4 cloves roasted garlic or to taste.