Summer Ratatouille

Garden fresh, heart-healthful, and full of savory summery flavors!

[quicklook-recipe prep_time=”25 min” cook_time=”35  min” serves=”6″ details=”” ]

This classic dish hails from Provence, a region in the south of France. Simmer lots of fresh vegetables in a splash of olive oil just long enough to bring out their natural flavors.

[ingredients-list title=”Ingredients” serving_size=””]
[ingredients-left]

  • 1 large eggplant (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small fennel bulb
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow squash (8 ounces each), chopped
  • 1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium chicken broth

[/ingredients-left]
[ingredients-right]

  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (28 ounces) no-salt-added whole tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary, plus sprigs for garnish
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped

[/ingredients-right]
[/ingredients-list]

[step-list-wrapper title=”How to make it” time=”60 minutes”]
[step-item number=”1″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Slice eggplant crosswise. Sprinkle on both sides with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Set on double layer of paper towels. Let stand 15 minutes. Rinse off eggplant, pat dry with paper towels, and cut into cubes. [/step-item]

[step-item number=”2″ image_url=”” title=”” ] Trim and chop fennel bulb. [/step-item]

[step-item number=”3″ image_url=”” title=”” ] Heat 2 teaspoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté squash and onion until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer to large bowl. Add 1 teaspoon oil and broth to skillet. Stir in eggplant and reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is tender, about 12 minutes. Add to vegetables in bowl. [/step-item]

[step-item number=”4″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Add remaining oil and garlic to skillet and cook 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes, fennel, oregano, and chopped rosemary, breaking up tomatoes with spoon. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in green pepper. Cover and simmer 7 minutes longer. Return vegetables to skillet. Sprinkle with remaining salt and bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with sprigs of rosemary.[/step-item] [/step-list-wrapper]

Round Out the Meal
Saute lean lamb tenderloins and serve sliced over the ratatouille and garnish with light feta cheese. Serve fresh figs with balsamic syrup for dessert.

[factoid]People living throughout the Mediterranean have a notably low occurrence of heart disease. Their diets are high in vegetables, fruits, and grains, and their main source of fat is olive oil. Olive oil contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, which can help reduce cholesterol levels in individuals whose diets are low in fat overall.[/factoid]

[cooking_tip]Eggplant is very porous and absorbs oil like a sponge, so it typically cooks in plenty of oil. To slash fat, cook the eggplant in a combination of chicken broth and olive oil — a chef’s trick that imparts flavor while reducing fat.[/cooking_tip]

[nutrition-info calories=”132″ calories_fat=”” fat=”4g” sat_fat=”0.5g” choles=”0mg” sodium=”698mg” carbs=”24g” sugars=”” protein=”4g” fiber=”8g”]

[/nutrition-info]

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest