Have you ever gotten a recipe you just had to try, but knew you were going to fiddle with? The Accidental Locavore’s friend Amie Gartenberg had this Greek version of a ratatouille over the summer and said it was just delicious. I used it with the last of the eggplant and peppers and a few other things (well, a lot of other things). Trust me, it’s forgiving! Her recipe was adapted from allrecipes.com. Takes about a two hours (mostly cooking time) and serves 12.
For the sauce:
• 3 tomatoes
• ½ cup olive oil (or less)
• 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
• 2 tbsp sugar (optional)
• 1/3 cup parsley, chopped
• 1/3 cup fresh mint, chopped
• 1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
• 2 tbsp fresh oregano (I used 1 tbsp dried)
• ¼ cup capers
• 2-4 cloves garlic
• Salt & pepper, to taste
For the vegetables:
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 2 onions, sliced 1/4″ thick
• 1 tomato, cut in 1 ½ “ chunks
• 2 potatoes, cut in 1 ½ “ chunks
• 2 medium eggplants, cut in 1 ½ “ chunks
• 3 zucchini, sliced ½” thick
• 3 red bell peppers, sliced ½” thick
• 1 cup carrots, sliced ½” thick
• 1 cup green beans, cut in half horizontally
Feta cheese and pita bread for serving
Preheat oven to 350 °F. Place the tomatoes, olive oil, red wine vinegar, sugar, parsley, mint, basil, oregano, capers and garlic in the work bowl of a food processor (a blender or stick blender would be fine). Pulse well to form fresh tomato sauce. Add salt and black pepper. Mix well and set aside.
Put 2 tablespoons olive oil in the bottom of a baking dish then add all remaining veggies. Toss to coat all with the oil. Pour the tomato sauce over the top and mix thoroughly. Add a little water, if required, to cover the vegetables with sauce. Bake, uncovered, for about 1 hour until all the vegetables are tender. Serve with feta cheese sprinkled over the top and warm pita bread.
My verdict: Delicious, although I really strayed from the recipe. For the sauce: no sugar. I forgot to get basil and parsley, so just doubled up on the mint and (dried) oregano and added what was left of a bottle of white wine (about ½ cup) to thin it out. Amazingly, I didn’t have any zucchini or green beans left and I’m not a fan of cooked carrots, so they didn’t make the mix. For the peppers: a pimento, several padrón peppers (otherwise known as the Russian roulette of peppers and these were hot) and a pale green one. The Locavore tossed in a handful of mixed, pitted olives in keeping with the Greek theme and a bag of frozen artichoke hearts. I served it as a side dish, however it would be great over orzo. The feta adds a nice creaminess so make sure to sprinkle some on top.