More zucchini magic!
Here's an easy busy week day family style way of making this classic French dish without loosing the bold flavors.
Extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion (your choice), roughly chopped
2 red bell peppers, or 1 red and 1 yellow for color
2-3 garlic cloves, depending on size and flavor you want, minced
2 medium zucchinis or 1 large, cubed
1 regular box of medium sized mushrooms, halved
1 medium eggplant, cubed the same size as the zucchini (peeling the eggplant is optional)
1 25 oz. jar of organic marinara sauce (I prefer to use jarred sauces over canned tomatoes
1 cup low-sodium organic vegetable stock (or organic low-sodium chicken stock)2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon marjoram, dried (or fresh if you have some)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup red wine
Peel and cut eggplant (peeling is optional), cube, and lightly salt. Place in paper towel lined colander to draw bitters. Heat a stock pot over medium heat (I used a heavy cast iron pot for this recipe). Sprinkle in extra virgin olive oil to lightly coat the bottom and sauté onions and bell peppers until almost tender, then add zucchini and mushrooms and sauté until a few more minutes (the zucchini does not have to be tender -- I just like them to have brown edges here and there). Add garlic and sauté a few more minutes. Pat down the eggplant and add to the pot. Add the marinara sauce and remaining ingredients. Simmer about 30 minutes, uncovered, or until the eggplant and zucchini are tender but somewhat firm (not mushy). Remove bay leaves before serving.
I served the ratatouille with gluten-free pappardelle, for some of us. And for the others who like bread, some nice rustic whole grain . . .