Once prepped, this ratatouille can simmer away and build flavor in a slow cooker. Serve with chickpeas over a goat cheese-spiked polenta and top with fresh basil for a filling meal. slightly adapted from Epicurious
- cooking spray
- 2 large eggplants, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3 medium zucchini or yellow summer squash, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3 tbsp coarse salt
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
- 2 small to medium red onions, halved and thinly sliced
- 3 bell peppers, cut into thin slices
- 1 (14.5 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 3 tbsp finely chopped garlic
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 (28 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 tsp ground thyme
- 10 grinds black pepper
- 1/2 cup packed freshly grated Parmesan
- 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
- 4 cups low sodium chicken stock (could use vegetable to keep it vegetarian)
- 2 cups water
- 1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
- 1 1/2 cups polenta or coarse-ground cornmeal
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter
- 4 oz fresh goat cheese
- 10 grinds black pepper
- Spray the slow cooker with cooking spray and set aside.
- Place the eggplant in a large colander tossed with 3 tbsp salt. Allow to sit for 45 minutes. Rinse the eggplant to remove the salt, dry the eggplant, and squeeze out excess water with a kitchen towel. Add to the slow cooker, along with the chopped zucchini.
- In a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, melt 2 tbsp of butter. Once melted, add the onions, bell peppers, and garlic and saute until vegetables are soft (about 8 minutes). Add to the slow cooker.
- Reduce heat to medium and add the remaining 1 tbsp butter. Once melted, add the flour and tomato paste, cooking for 1 minutes, or until flour disappears and mixture thickens. Increase heat to medium-high and add the tomatoes with their juices, thyme, and pepper. Cook, crushing the tomatoes with a wooden spoon, until mixture is thick and smooth (about 6 minutes). Add to the slow cooker along with the chickpeas.
- Stir everything in the slow cooker to combine, cover, and cook on low for 4-5 hours, until vegetables are tender.
- While the ratatouille is cooking, bring the broth and water and salt to a boil in a medium, heavy saucepan. Once boiling, gradually whisk in cornmeal. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring every 3 minutes, until creamy and thick. (Original instructions say this will take 30 minutes, but it only took me about 10). Remove from heat and stir in the butter, cheese, and pepper.
- Just before serving the ratatouille, stir in the Parmesan and basil.
- Ladle polenta into bowls, spoon ratatouille on top, and serve immediately.
- Category: Main