I wasted no time starting up my CSA box again this past week after returning from a month long vacation in Korea, and I can't tell you how wonderful it was to fill my crisper with the freshest, in-season produce that nature has to offer. We signed up for bi-weekly again because it's more economical for the two of us while providing us with PLENTY to enjoy throughout the weeks.
When brainstorming for what to do with all this produce, I first like to focus on just one ingredient. Then comes the all important series of questions - "What pairs well with it (specifically what other CSA contents can I incorporate)? Keep it light or a bit on the heavy/"comfort" side? How long will it take to make?"
This time the beautiful bevy of eggplants was my point of inspiration, and I was def leaning in favor of comfort food. Ratatouille more than satisfied our "starving-for-homecooked-meals" bellies (at least mine anyway). Eating out for every single meal over the course of a month was glorious in the beginning…and then it just became painful.
Now the beauty of this recipe is...there's really nothing to it! Although there are many variables to take into consideration when making traditional ratatouille (like cooking each vegetable separately, adding plenty of olive oil, using canned tomatoes and their juices, baking in the oven, etc.), I like to keep things pretty simple. This dish allowed me to incorporate 4 goodies from my CSA box - eggplants, tomatoes, red bell peppers, and basil. Making ratatouille was a great decision, indeed.
I admit - the prep work is a bit hairy...tedious and time-consuming. It's a lot of vegetables to clean and chop. I like to prepare my eggplants first because they need time to soak in salt to remove excess moisture. However, once you've worked on your knife skills (you'll be a pro in no time!), the rest is a breeze! Dump, stir, cover..repeat. Now comes the part where you can adjust the timing in the directions. If you want a silkier, more stew-like consistency, increase the simmering time to your liking. I tend to like mine not too liquid-y.
At the end, I like to make individual wells or nests that after about 3-5 minutes will be filled with perfectly poached eggs. I also think that serving this dish on top of crunchy garlic toast is a must! If you are big on texture like me, you'll agree ;). Also, if you're looking to stretch your dollar, this meal will do just that! Enjoy!
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion cut into ½ inch cubes
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 3 medium eggplants cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1 medium red bell pepper cored, seeded, cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1 medium zucchini cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon herbs de provence
- ½ teaspoon salt and pepper
- 2 cups diced grape tomatoes
- 1 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Fresh eggs
- Goat cheese optional
- Sriracha optional
- Baguette sliced 1 inch thick and toasted
- Add oil to a large dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot and place over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly caramelized, about 5-7 minutes. Add eggplant, zucchini, garlic, 1 teaspoon herbs de provence, salt and pepper. Cover pot and cook to soften vegetables, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes and ½ cup basil. Cover pot once again and simmer until tomatoes are softened and flavors are concentrated.
- Stir in balsamic vinegar. Make nests or wells in the ratatouille and crack an egg into each nest. Cover pot and cook eggs to desired doneness, 2-5 minutes. Serve with extra basil and optional - goat cheese and/or sriracha.
Marilyn Sinohui says
I love this dish. I make it when I have a lot of veggies on hand. It's good by itself or with the eggs. I add a bit of creole seasoning to give it a little kick. Its also great with sharp cheddar cheese.
So glad to hear! Such an easy and forgiving recipe, isn't it? Super versatile
Love this...Looks ridiculously amazing!Featuring you tomorrow at Work It Wednesday! Wonderful job! Hope to see your next creation tomorrow;-)Xo
Thank you so much, Aniko, for the feature!
Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health says
i have been to set CSA box but just havent done it. Ratatouille sounds really good with eggs.
Thanks, Dixya! You should totally sign up for CSA box 😉
EA-The Spicy RD says
I have to admit I've always been a little "on-the-fence" about ratatouille, but your version with poached eggs and garlic toast sounds absolutely fabulous! Welcome home 🙂
May I ask what kept you from taking the plunge? I'm glad this dish caught your attention bc I think you'd really enjoy it ^^. Thank you! It feels great to be back. However, I take my RD exam on tuesday so I've been studying hardcore.
Kari @ bite-sized thoughts says
Welcome back Min! It looks like you have hit the ground running with creating your usual delicious and colourful meals 🙂 I love the different vegetables included in this - and ratatouille is one of my favourite tomato-based dishes I think.
Thank you, Kari! Yes, I couldn't wait to get back in the kitchen. I missed home cooked meals so so much.
Thalia @ butter and brioche says
love a good ratatouille! never thought to add poached eggs before, an idea i definitely will be trying!
Can't wait for you to try!! Poached eggs really elevate this beloved dish 😉
felicia | Dish by Dish says
Min! So glad you're back! Missed you and your cooking posts! And this ratatouilee is definitely going onto my list of recipes to try!! xoxo, felicia
Thank you, Felicia, for the warm welcome back. Can't wait for you to try this dish! Hope you're doing well and staying warm!
ellie @ fit for the soul says
Come to think of it, I have never tried Ratatouille. This must be changed very soon! I kind of can't stand it when I know I haven't tried certain dishes because I want to try it all (so greedy)~And I feel like CSA is such a great little program but for some reason I don't have the courage to sign up for it! Probably because there's 1.5 people eating veggies in our house, haha. Me and Selah. 😛
Yes, you MUST try it ASAP. I know you're going to love it ;). As for starting the CSA box, I say just try it out. I was a bit intimidated at first, but I'm so glad I did. There's also 1.5 people eating veggies here too. You just got to make up for the other .5 hehe.
Thank you Min and I really enjoyed your video. You are both so cute. Have a good week.
Thank you so much, as always, for the lovely comment and for watching, Liz 😉
Ratatouille on crusty bread is one of my favorite things in the whole world. I love the addition of the poached eggs to make it a little more well-rounded as a meal!
Isn't it simply the best? So satisfying..And yes, the addition of eggs def gives it more staying power.