They are, without question, the most adorable vegetable known to man/woman kind. If you know a veggie that is cuter, I dare you to name it now, or forever hold your peace.
In this week's share, there came a huge bag of these adorable little things. Last year, with only one kidlet in tow, I was able to spend a day turning them into eggplant parmesan. This year, I remembered my crock-pot.
This was thanks to a BJ's advertisement of all things. I wish I'd pulled it out earlier this summer. I'd forgotten the wonder of creating a hot meal that manages to make my house smell amazing while leaving it a reasonable temperature. The next step will be a tamale casserole, and we may even have to get into the pudding cakes and morning oatmeal. Other than being a pain in the tuchus to wash, and taking up counter space, crock-pots really are a phenomenal tool.
So, the end result for the eggplant Ratatouille (which Google Chrome believes I should spell as Rattlebrain or Rattlesnake). The flavors were refreshing, bright, and became a meal when served over rice, with pan fried chicken on the side. Truly, what could be a better veggie dish than one with flavors so bright and full that they turn the protein into the side dish? Share and Enjoy.
Half Day Fairy Eggplant Ratatouille
Adapted from Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker
1 bag of fairy eggplants or two large standard eggplants, 1/2 inch dice
1 green pepper, 1/2 inch dice
2 zucchini, 1/2 inch dice
2 summer squash, 1/2 inch dice
2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 hor 2 large onions, according to taste, diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced or crushed
4-6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
2 T olive oil
6 T pesto, homemade with basil or store bought
1. Heat 1 T olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add eggplant. Cook until it releases its moisture, about 5 minutes Note: Fairy egg plant won't have that much to lose Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and place in crock pot.
2. Add second T of olive oil to pan. Add onions and green pepper. Cover, and cook until onion is softened, stirring occasionally, about 5-10 minutes.
3. Add all ingredients to crock pot and combine. Cook on low for 4 hrs. Immediately before serving, stir through pesto. Serve over rice or couscous or as a side dish. For a complete meal, add 2 rinsed cans of chickpeas 1/2 hour before the end of cooking time. Share and enjoy.