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End of Day September Ratatouille

images-1Summer in a bowl, using the quickest version I know…

I conjured this up at 9 or 10 last night,  not my sharpest time, so I used the food processor to help out. The results may not be as pretty as hand cut produce, but the flavor is  summer’s finale in a bowl — glorious. (And the colors still pop.) The fresher the veggies the tastier the dish, and I picked up these up at a nameless farm stand, a tiny screech stop in nearby Richmond. Serve at any temperature with crusty bread. Later this week, I may simmer skinless chicken thighs in the leftovers until cooked through, then sprinkle them with chopped garden celery or parsley leaves. Makes about 2 quarts, but whoops. nighttime cooking, I didn’t really measure.

5 cloves garlic
1 large sweet onion
1/4 cup olive oil, preferably fruity
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
2 small to medium eggplants, about 1-1/2 pounds
1 medium zucchini
1 medium summer squash
1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons capers
1 pound fresh ripe tomatoes
freshly ground pepper

Pulse garlic in food processor. Peel and cut onion in 4 and pulse just until chopped but not beyond. Add to oil to pot and simmer over medium heat until onions are transluscent, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, halve peppers lenghtwise and pull out stem and core, shaking the seeds out. Cut each half in half and pulse in food processor until chopped. Don’t worry if they are cut unevenly. Add to pot.

Slice eggplant. Stack and quarter slices. Pulse in food processor, in batches if needed, until chopped.  If any large pieces remain, leave them behind and pulse once more. Add to a bowl and toss in just a touch of flour to coat. Remove eggplant to pot, leaving any excess flour behind.

Slice zucchini and yellow squash and add to pot. Also add capers, throwing in more or less, depending on how much you like capers (I like ’em). Then, add 1 teaspoon of salt and stir well. Cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes, or until eggplant is soft and tasty.

Core or cut off tops of tomatoes and pulse just to chop. Drain off some of the juice. The more you drain off the thicker the result, your choice. (Reserve any fresh tomatoes juice and drink with a touch of salt.) Add tomatoes and cook 5 more minutes. Add salt, if needed, and pepper to taste. Serve hot or cold.

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