Summer Ratatouille and Pasta

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I have found myself both busy and distracted in the past few weeks, and as a result, I haven’t been posting (or cooking) as much as I would like. Life is like that–full of surprises, choices, decisions and turning points. I’m feeling pretty good about some decisions I’ve made lately, although they have taken my attention away from SOLE Food Kitchen for just a teeny minute. I’m trying to get back in the groove!

This dish is a wonderful vegetarian creation based on the dish ratatouille, although it’s a bit messier than the neatly sliced and arranged dish. It is hearty, but not heavy and, if you use soy cheese (or no cheese), it is also a vegan dish. We served just the vegetable mix as a side dish with fish this week and served the leftovers over organic bucatini pasta–a thicker, chewier version of spaghetti. You could use any vegetables you want in this dish as long as they are fresh. We used the traditional eggplant, tomatoes, fennel, onions and garlic. It was very good, and used up a lot of vegetables we had from our Produce Box this week.

Summer Ratatouille and Pasta (makes about 6 serving)

1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 small fennel bulb, washed and sliced thin
4 medium or large tomatoes, washed, trimmed and quartered
1 pint cherry tomatoes, washed and stems removed
1 large eggplant, washed and cubed
2 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons Herbs de Provence
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil

1 lb. bucatini pasta
Grated Parmesan cheese

Put a large pot of water on to boil for pasta.
In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium low heat.
Add onions and garlic. Sauté for 1-2 minutes until onions start to soften (do not let the garlic brown).
Add the fennel and continue cooking another 1-2 minutes. Lower heat if necessary to keep garlic from scorching.
Add the quartered tomatoes and sauté for about 3 minutes or until tomatoes start to release their juices.
Add eggplant and cherry tomatoes. Season with herbs, salt and pepper. Stir well and cook over medium low heat for about 15 minutes.
Add capers, stir well. Correct for seasoning, if necessary.
Season boiling pasta water with a generous amount (3 tablespoons) of salt. Cook pasta according to directions (the bucatini take about 8 minutes).
Drain pasta and toss with the vegetable mixture.
Serve hot with a sprinkle of Parmesan or soy cheese.

Parisian Salad

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This recipe is based on a wonderful salad I had at a cafe in the Marais neighborhood in Paris. It is chock full of seasonal, local vegetables as well as tasty bits of prosciutto and a lightly fried egg. The egg and ham with the asparagus is really going to rock your taste buds! Delicious! And a complete meal. We are on day 5 of our Salad-a-Day challenge and having fun making up new salad recipes!

Parisian Salad (serves 2)

  • 1 head organic fresh lettuce (romaine, red leaf, green leaf), washed and dried
  • 1/2 cup of micro greens
  • 1 organic garden radish, washed, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 organic carrot, washed, peeled and diced
  • 1 organic tomato, washed and chopped
  • 1/2 organic cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 pound fresh asparagus, washed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 thin slices prosciutto
  • 2 farm eggs
  • Grated Parmesan reggiano cheese
  • Salad dressing of your choice.
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or foil.
  2. Trim asparagus and toss with olive oil. Spread on baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Roast asparagus in oven for 15 minutes or until browned ( this will depend on how thick the stalks are).
  3. While asparagus is roasting, arrange greens on a salad plate or nice bowl. Make a well in the center and put tomatoes in the well.
  4. Arrange the remaining vegetables on the greens.
  5. Arrange two slices of prosciutto on each salad plate.
  6. When asparagus is done, remove pan from oven and add 1/2 of asparagus to each salad plate.
  7. In a saute pan, fry the 2 eggs, but leave the yolks a little soft. Add one egg to each salad plate.
  8. Serve immediately with your choice of vinaigrette dressing and a sprinkle of cheese.
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