Okay I know I’m supposed to be making salads but I made this really great dish at a farmers market demo the other day using the fresh veggies I could find at the market. First off I should mention I have never made rataouille before but the idea popped into my mind a few days ago and I was looking for the opportunity to try it. I was asked at the last minute if I could do this demo, I figured this is perfect! I went with an idea to make this traditional Mediterranean dish usually based with eggplant, but when I got there the eggplant truck broke down on the way to the market!? So with 15 minutes till the demo was to start I had to put on my chef hat and improvise quickly. I found these beautiful shitaki mushrooms at a stand and had a light bulb moment. The mushrooms have a similar texture and will provide the meaty sensation that eggplant does. The rest of the veggies are so flavorful (when they are organic) and the herbs so pungent I knew this dish would deliver. This dish is traditionally a side dish but transforms to a perfect meal with some quinoa or brown rice. or if you are doing low carb, I didn’t have any accompaniment and people really enjoyed it as is. This dish that is super simple and fresh -anyone can do it with a box from their local CSA nd make a quick tasty lunch for the office or a light summer dinner. Enjoy.
Farmers Market Ratatouille
¼ cup canola oil plus more as needed
1½ cups small diced yellow onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1 cup diced green bell peppers
1 cup diced red bell peppers
1 cup diced zucchini squash
1 cup diced yellow squash
2 cups Shataki mushroom
1½ cups chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
Salt olive oil and freshly ground white pepper
Set a large 12-inch saute pan over medium heat and add the canola oil. Once hot, add the onions and garlic to the pan. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they are wilted and lightly caramelized, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Add thyme and basil to the pan, add the green and red peppers, zucchini, and squash sprinkle some salt on the mix and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms is tender, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, parsley, and pepper, to taste, and cook for a final 5 minutes. Stir well to blend and serve either hot or at room temperature.