Texas 'Touille (Texas Ratatouille)
by Holly Williams Urbach
Assorted squash-zucchini, yellow, pattypan, Mexican grey
Eggplant if available
red or yellow onion
fresh garden tomatoes
assorted peppers-green, red, yellow, banana, whatever you have on hand
You can vary the quantity of ingredients to suit your tastes and serve a varying amount of people. I generally use at least 2 zucchini, 2 yellow squash, 1 eggplant, 1 large pattypan, 1-2 large onions, 4-6 Roma tomatoes, 6-10 medium okra pods, 3-4 cloves of garlic, and 4-6 homegrown peppers (which are smaller than storebought), and 1-2 medium jalapenos.
I developed this recipe because my husband and I are avid gardeners, I had a surplus of the ingredients I used in the recipe, and I am quite partial to ratatouille.
Wash, dry, and slice squash. I like to cut mine into rounds and slice the rounds in half if the circumference of the squash is large. Cut the eggplant into round slices, then dice. No need to peel the eggplant. Set these ingredients aside in a large bowl.
Put a large frying pan on the stove on medium high heat. Allow the pan to heat while you cut the onions, garlic, and peppers. Just before putting onions, garlic, and peppers into pan, add some extra virgin olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
Slice onions into round slices or roughly chop into large dices, whichever you prefer. Cut and seed all the peppers, including the jalapenos if you are using jalapenos. Slice the peppers into chunky strips. Mince the garlic. Put onions and peppers into hot pan and stir, then add garlic, and stir again. Cook until onions and peppers are a bit browned.
Add the squash and eggplant to the onions, peppers, and garlic. You may find that you need to add a bit of oil. While this mixture cooks, dice tomatoes, and slice okra. You will want all the juice from the tomatoes to go into your Texas 'Touille so if your tomatoes are juicy catch the juice into a bowl.
Add tomatoes and okra to your mixture cooking in the frying pan. Add fresh parsley and basil if desired.Stir well and turn heat to medium. Cover pan and allow all the ingredients to simmer for up to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Test to see if veggies are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. I like to serve this over rice and top it with Parmesan cheese.
It is also delicious in an omelet the next day.