Cheaters’ Ratatouille

Rain…three days of rain. Not light drizzle, drenching, flooding rain… That picture of the rain gauge is from Wednesday. I don’t know whether or not you can tell, but it’s full to the point of overflowing, and Thursday’s rain wasn’t even in there. The temperature hovered around 62, and the wind blew… we were all chilled and fairly miserable.

Tomatoes have a tendency to crack if they get too much water all at once when they’re nearing maturity, so many of them had to come in to finish ripening on the windowsill.

You know it’s raining hard when the outdoor-loving dog refuses to go to the garden…

I had enough to make six pints of tomato sauce…

Oddly enough, Hubby seemed less than thrilled with this latest addition to the pantry.

“We do still get to just eat some of them, don’t we?” He asked.

Oh, dear… Have I gone overboard? Too much saving for winter, and not enough savoring the summer? And, here it is, nearly summer’s end…

Ratatouille to the rescue!

Now, this isn’t Julia’s ratatouille, where each ingredient is sautéed separately and then combined in a huge pan at the end…

I’m not that patient.

Instead, all that late summer goodness – eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, red bell pepper and yellow onion – is chopped into pieces, thrown into a roasting pan, drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper, and topped off with a branch of fresh thyme. Cover it, roast it for a half hour at 400F. Uncover it, stir, and roast for another 45 minutes (or so) with the lid off.  Served with a slice or two of polenta – and maybe a sausage or two, for the determined meat-eater – it’s a wonderful ‘bridge’ meal between the laid-back bounty of summer, and the heartier fare of autumn and winter.

I’m not quite ready for that yet….

And, don’t worry Honey…we’re going to have tomatoes right up until frost this year!


24 thoughts on “Cheaters’ Ratatouille

  1. Yummy! That sounds much easier than the way I made it the other day. And I hadn’t thought of polenta. Doh! We do have leftover ratatouille. All I need is some polenta. 😀

  2. So many tomatoes, I think ours would go to waste, or they would go to friends. I”ve never made relish or chutney and I would probably leave it too late. I love growing stuff, now we have to cope with eating. I wish I had your energy.

    • I only started canning last year. I wanted to grow more varieties of tomatoes, but that would mean lots more than I could use, so I did some research… Turns out, it’s not nearly as intimidating as I thought it would be. Now, I think I’m addicted….

  3. This sounds SO good. I especially love the tomatoes on the window sill. Grams used to can tomatoes and use them in soups and stews in the winter. They also liked them with white beans and cornbread.

    • Jacques Pepin once said that, though he loved her dearly, she did tend to over-complicate things… Coming from a man who started cooking in his Auntie’s restaurant as soon as he could reach the counter gives a bit of creedence in my book. 😉
      I think there’s enough summer squash in the garden for one more batch this year…

  4. I love ratatouille and yours looks great and thank you so much for picking up the error I made on my page today.. phew! I was using lemon balm! which is just as lovely but NOT a verbena! Good spotting.. c

    • I just started canning last year, and I think I’m hooked…made a corn salsa yesterday, and I thought about you. Yes, I know you grow field corn and not sweet corn, but I still make that link in my brain…
      Wishing you good, dry weather for harvest!

  5. I’ve made ratatouille so many ways and roasting is one of those quick and easy ways but also so good with that added nuttiness from the roasting! Wow, your photos are gorgeous and that row of tomatoes! I’m sooo jealous!!

  6. I think your way of making ratatouille is great. Roasting in the oven brings out the flavors and you don’t need to watch it so much. As I look at all my tomatoes today, I keep telling myself to not plant so many next year. Then I look at all of the sauce in the freezer and I am so happy.

  7. Wonderful and great that you managed to safe the tomatoes from the rain! Just got back from 9 days away and we once more (hurrah!) have toimatoes so shall have to make a ratatouille this week. Delicious!

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