Okay, so here’s the thing. Ratatouille is normally a vegetarian dish. And it tastes great like that, but I had some quick sale beef that I needed to use immediately. Yes I could have frozen it but… I buy a lot of quick meat because to be honest, I must stretch my grocery budget. The summer veggies from my garden really helped so I was able to buy more meat protein than I ordinarily could. I love paying $2.00 for a beef steak. So here is my version of that traditional eggplant/ aubergine dish.
1 large Eggplant, peeled, sliced then quartered
2 pounds Beef, cubed into ½ inch
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
1 large Red or Sweet Onion, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, peeled and pressed
2 Green Bell Peppers, seeded and sliced into strips
1 medium Zucchini, unpeeled and thin sliced
1 tablespoon fresh Basil or ½ teaspoon dried
1 medium Yellow Squash, unpeeled and thin sliced
1 can (28 ozs) Italian Diced Tomatoes, undrained
Sea salt or Kosher Salt and Black Pepper to taste
¼ cup fresh chopped Parsley or 1 tablespoon dried
Place the eggplant quarters in a colander and coat with salt. Let the salt work to pull excess water out of the eggplant quarters, about 30 minutes. Rinse and drain.
Heat 4 tablespoons EVOO over medium heat in a heavy soup pot. When oil is hot brown the beef. Add onion and garlic, sauté until onion is translucent not brown. About 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add and cook and cover for 8 minutes. Stir in about 1 tablespoon of EVOO, add peppers, squash and tomatoes. Cook about 10 minutes. Add herbs and season to taste. Enjoy with crusty bread.