Thursday, May 8, 2014

Spring Ratatouille

Seward Co-op
It is already Thursday! It has been such a great week.In Minnesota it has been warm and beautiful. I have had such a fun time writing about fruits and vegetables this week. Danielle had a wonderful post yesterday about storing produce. I love her ideas about storing herbs. I enjoy keeping fresh herbs in the house and it is nice to find the perfect way to keep them fresh for longer than a few days.

Since we spent so much time fussing over produce it eventually made me really hungry. So I decided to cook! I am still participating in the candida control cleanse- so I wanted to find a another recipe that could fit into my diet and something that could be inspired by spring. (You an read my other Candida Diet Recipes here)

I started by visiting my favorite local grocery, Seward Co-op,  for inspiration. I am a bit of a kid in a candy shop once inside. Even the staff get a bit confused when looking at me shop...
I feel like most of them think that I am lost -really I am just admiring all the interesting ingredients available right at my finger tips.

After having a few minutes with all the lovely vegetables, I decided I would make a spring ratatouille. I really enjoy making one pot meals because not only are they super simple but they are also extremely flavorful and usually use healthy cooking methods.

Here we go! I like bringing fresh vegetables into the house. I always start with cutting everything up to the correct sizes. I love how beautiful everything looks on the cutting board-it tends to keep me inspired.

Look at it! ha I might be a bit overly passionate about produce. It is just so vibrant! I really wanted to find some flavors that could bring out the flavors of spring.

My absolute favorite vegetables in the spring are ramps. They are the first local vegetable to appear in spring. They are very similar to either a leek or a green onion but a lot more subtle in flavor. They inhabit a clean flavor that comes from the cool temperatures of spring.

Usually I wouldn't add ramps to a stew because the flavors of the ramp might be lost while roasting -but in this case I thought with all the vegetables I was adding the vibrancy that the ramps might bring would be perfect for this dish.

Spring Ratatouille Recipe

1/2 Cup olive oil
 6 Cloves of garlic, smashed
2 yellow onions, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 shallot, chopped
1 Red Pepper, quartered
1 Green Pepper, quartered
1 bunch of ramps, separated into stems and greens
2 Zucchini,  chopped into 1 inch pieces
2 Small purple eggplants, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 Large can of whole tomatoes, about 10 tomatoes
3 small yellow tomatoes (you can substitute with Roma tomatoes or heirloom of any variety)
1 Tablespoon Herb de Provence
1/4 Cup Parsley, Chopped
1/4 Cup Basil, Chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2.Heat dutch oven (or oven and stove safe pan ) on the stove top and add oil

2. Add Onion, garlic, herb de Provence, and shallot over medium heat, covered, until onion is clear, about minutes.

3. Add peppers, eggplant, and zucchini.

4. Add the can of tomatoes, parsley, and basil and then transfer the pot to the oven.

5. Roast in the oven for twenty minutes, add the ramp greens and stalks, stir.

6. Roast for another twenty to thirty minutes until the liquid has reduced, stir every so often.

7. serve hot or store
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