Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Moroccan Ratatouille

This dish was inspired by my sister, who loves ratatouille and my sister-in-law, who has recently adopted a vegan, no salt, sugar or oil, diet.  Oh, and all the zucchini my the garden.

My ratatouille loving sister had made a batch the other night and it was delish.  She mentioned she had a friend that made a Moroccan version with capers, spices and raisins.  So that became one end of the recipe.

My vegan, no SOS sister-in-law got me thinking how this recipe could be made without oil and salt.  While in the end I couldn't bring myself to totally go without them (I used a modicum of oil and a soupcon of salt), it was a great exercise in cutting back on these, what have become in our modern diet, staples.  In fact, the whole affair was an exercise in addition and subtraction.

The end result was a completely scrumptious equation .  It all came together beautifully and the flavor of the fresh vegetables stood out against a garam masala spice blend.  An altogether inspirational summer meal.

 Moroccan ratatouille

2 teaspoons olive oil 
1 eggplant
1 medium zucchini
1 medium yellow squash
1/2 cup chopped onions 
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 15-ounce box of chopped tomatoes (nothing added)
2 teaspoons garam masala spice blend
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 cup chick peas
1/2 cup roasted peppers (packed in water)
2 tablespoons capers
2 teaspoons tomato paste 
pinch of salt
black pepper to taste
a handful of fresh basil leaves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Slice eggplant into half inch thick slices.  Cut zucchini and yellow squash in quaters lengthwise.  Brush a large baking pan with 1 teaspoon olive oil and lay vegetables as close a possible on pan.  Bake, turning once, for 20 to 25 minutes,  or until tender.  When cool enough to handle cut in bite size pieces.

In a large, heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven saute onion and garlic in 1 teaspoon olive oil on medium heat.  (If onions start to stick add a bit of water.)  Saute until tender.   Add cut vegetables, chopped tomatoes, garam masala, raisins, chick peas, tomato paste, roasted peppers, capers, salt and black pepper.  Cook  for 10 to 15 minutes, adding a bit of water is mixture seems dry.  Take off the heat and add the basil leaves. Makes 6 servings.

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