Sunday, July 08, 2007

Ratatouille!

I'm not talking about the movie, but rather the dish! My wonderful girlfriend surprised me last Friday evening by preparing this simple, but tasty French recipe for dinner. Karen opted to go with a quick version of the recipe with poultry sausage. She spent a good part of the afternoon shopping for ingredients and dicing vegetables, which included red bell pepper, zucchini, yellow squash, Japanese eggplant, tomatoes, onions, and garlic. In lieu of a hot pepper, Karen used a spicy turkey sausage with cilantro.

The recipe was very fast and easy to make. First, she sauteed minced garlic in olive oil for a few minutes. Then, she added in all of the vegetables except for the tomato and continued to saute the mixture until it began to soften, perhaps about 7-8 minutes longer. Then, she mixed in the diced tomatoes and cooked it for an additional 3-4 minutes. Finally, she put in the sliced sausage, and the chopped basil and parsley, and cooked the mixture until the sausage was warmed through, which took another 4-5 minutes.

To accompany the dish, Karen prepared some purple cauliflower that she had picked up at the Old Oakland Farmer's Market. She cut cut up the head into small florets, tossed them with some light olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roasted them in the oven while we were preparing the ratatouille on the stovetop. The cauliflower was done just as the ratatouille was ready.

The results were fabulous. The ratatouille was colorful and delicious. The roasted cauliflower was crunchy and contrasted nicely with the colors and textures of flavorful vegetables in the ratatouille. This dinner combination was definitely a winner and something that we will make again (hopefully soon).

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