Fridge Cleanout Pan Roasted Ratatouille For Two

We're having friends over for a BBQ on Saturday, so I did minimal grocery shopping last weekend, and I'll be spending the rest of this week cleaning out the fridge to make room for all the groceries for our shindig.

This morning, I'm making a fridge cleanout ratatouille with:

- some old baby heirloom tomatoes
- half of the last large red onion in the house
- 1/2 of a one pound eggplant, peeled and cubed
- a wrinkly red bell pepper that's been in the fridge for almost a month

to get rid of a lot of the old veg in there, and to save the last of our non-egg protein, a whole pompano, for another day.

I'll use this to make naan pizza tonight with the last of the Monterey Jack cheese in the fridge.

So looking forward to seeing our friends this weekend. Sharing delicious things to eat and drink with people whose company we enjoy is one of life's greatest pleasures. :)

Pan Roasted Ratatouille For Two
Time: About 30 minutes

- 1.5 cups baby tomatoes
- 1 medium onion, cut into 1-inch pieces (any color is fine)
- 1/2 a pound of eggplant, cut into 1.5-inch cubes (peeled if Italian, peeling not necessary if Chinese or Japanese eggplants, which have a much more delicate peel) This is about 2 cups.
- 1 medium red, yellow or orange bell pepper, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces

- 4 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced (1/2 to 1 Tablespoon, depending on how garlicky you like your food)
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt to start
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1) In a large pan (10 or 12-inch) with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in it, add all the tomatoes, onion, eggplant, and bell pepper, and spread it out in an even layer over the entire cooking surface.

2) Put the pan on medium low heat, and let the veg roast, undisturbed, for about 12 minutes.

3) Add another 2 Tablespoons of oil and stir the veg to redistribute back into an even layer over the entire cooking surface, making sure all of your eggplant pieces are touching the cooking surface. Let the veg roast undisturbed again for another 12 minutes or so.

4) Add the garlic, parsley on top, and distribute the salt and pepper over the entire area of the ratatouille and gently and thoroughly fold into the veg mixture to ensure even seasoning throughout. Spreading the seasoning over the entire surface area of the ratatouille before folding it in helps to distribute it evenly and also prevents having to disturb the veg too much in order to get the seasoning incorporated.

5) Let the rataouille pan roast another 5 minutes or so, and that's it!

Delicious as a side, as a pizza or pasta topping, or over polenta with some grated Parm on top, among other things.

Enjoy. :)




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