Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ratatouille the Easy Way

Sometimes pictures say more than written words can. They can paint a clear picture of a perfectly simple meal, made in a hurry, by an exhausted person who'd spent her day unpacking and readjusting to life at home after a vacation. A person who is much too tired to write....almost too tired to eat. Almost.

Luckily, there were fresh young zucchini in the fridge, and some heirloom cherry tomatoes too. Add in the sprigs of thyme leftover from Easter dinner, and a package of Rao's fusilli, and you've got a meal made in heaven for the travel-weary....the same travel-weary person who somehow found enough energy to make it to the library to check out this book, in which she found the following lovely recipe.

Patricia's Speedy Ratatouille

This recipe, adapted from At Home in Provence by Patricia Wells, has all the flavor of a slow simmered ratatouille, but in much less time. The splash of red wine vinegar beautifully sharpens the flavors of this dish. We ate this warm over pasta, but it would also be delicious chilled or at room temperature spooned over some crisp French bread.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
Yield: serves 4


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (evoo)
1 1/2 pounds small zucchini, cut into thin slices
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, stems removed
sea salt to taste
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 pound of cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons of good quality red wine vinegar


1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the evoo, zucchini and 1 teaspoon of thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini begins to brown along the edges, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the salt and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes more, just until the garlic begins to get golden.

3. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, and vinegar and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until zucchini is very tender and ingredients have melded together a bit.

4. Top with remaining thyme leaves and taste for seasoning. Serve warm over pasta or at room temperature with a hunk of good bread.


Ann Mah said...

I LOVE Patricia Wells's AT HOME IN PROVENCE. There's a well-worn copy at the house in Provence we rent every summer. I always, always without fail make her soupe au pistou and it is delicious. Just typing those words makes me think of summer. There's also a recipe for a fruit tart with a crust that you press into the pan, which is fantastic. I think I need to buy my own copy of this book!

Pam said...

This looks delicious! I love all the vibrant colors and Patricia Wells also. Love her cookbooks!

Alison said...

Ann, I saw the recipe for her tart....I must make that soon.

And thanks, Pam!!