My Easy Ratatouille!

| July 25, 2014 | 10 Replies

My easy ratatouille! That’s what hit me when I studied my early morning harvest of Squash Lemon, Ping Tung Long eggplant, green beans, and tomatoes. I added a leek, garlic cloves (see my Growing Garlic episode of “Late Bloomer”), and purple basil, all of which I grew in my garden.

My Easy Ratatouille!-veggies

Early morning harvest

In the mid-1970’s on a trip to California, I passed through Ojai, stopped into the legendary Ranch House Restaurant and bought what became my #1 cookbook for decades “Vegetarian Gourmet Cookery” by Alan Hooker. The first edition I wore out and it’s long gone and I picked up this copy in 1990 after I moved to California.

My Easy Ratatouille-cookbook

Vegetarian Gourmet Cookery by Alan Hooker cookbook

As I’d much rather be in the garden than in the kitchen, I try to limit my cooking to recipes that take 20 minutes or less, and the Ratatouille recipe fits perfectly into my preferred time frame. Basically, over a medium-heat skillet, to olive oil you add minced garlic, chopped onion, sliced vegetables and simmer till they are soft! The recipe calls for mushrooms, but I substituted green beans, because that’s what’s growing in my garden!

My Easy Ratatouille!-recipe

My easy ratatouille recipe from Vegetarian Gourmet Cookery

I did have marjoram growing in my garden, but it’s vanished, so I substituted oregano. Since I used fresh tomatoes, I added two tablespoons of organic tomato paste to thicken the sauce. I cooked it for no more than the time it took to chop and add everything plus another couple of minutes, covered. I turned off the heat and let it cool down. (1951 Noritake China serving bowl, Royal Pink pattern ) The cookbook recommends serving with rice or plain lentils.

My Easy Ratatouille-the dish

My Easy Ratatouille with all vegetables harvested this morning

The Squash Lemon seed was a Free Gift from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company when I ordered all my tomato seeds last year.

My Easy Ratatouille!-seeds

Squash Lemon seed packet

They say it has high yield and high resistance to insects (though leaf miner are working their way through some leaves), so I found a spot for one plant, right beside my only eggplant (caterpillars are devouring those leaves). These are my first two lemon squash harvested.

My Easy Ratatouille-plants

Squash Lemon and Eggplant side by side in containers

I hope you enjoy making ratatouille! Please let me know if you try it. I know many of you are growing the ingredients in your summer garden. Thanks for reading and please watch episodes of “Late Bloomer” on YouTube. Happy cooking and gardening! – Kaye



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Category: Recipes, Vegetables, Warm Season

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  1. Patty Pan Squash! - Late Bloomer Show | July 29, 2014
  1. Debi Lee says:

    Hi Kaye! I’m growing the Lemon squash as well, and yes, they are very good producers, so much so I grated quite a few and froze them for later use. The recipe looks great I will definitely try it. Oddly enough just today for lunch I had something sorta similar from the garden, but just very basic. Sauteed Sweet 100’s with Lemon Squash, basil and garlic. Sprinkled a little Parmesan on top and Yum!!

    • Oh, yeah, that’s even easier! I’ll try it! Thanks for reading!! – Kaye

    • That sounds so good! I’m hoping moving the pot to a sunnier spot, trimming off the main stem which wasn’t producing, in favor of this secondary vine, giving it more nutrition and today spraying with baking soda and milk solution for the PM, will give it a boost so I can get enough squash to try this recipe! – Kaye

  2. Lynn robertson says:

    Yeah Kay that is a lot like the way I make ratatouille, the only difference being that I add about a half jar of commercial or homemade spaghetti sauce to give it a bit of thick tomatoes. Serve over pasta with grated Parm

    • Oh, yeah, that sounds great! (As long as the commercial sauce is organic.) And of course this is what you have to do in winter, but in summer, ratatouille is a great use of fresh tomatoes. I forgot to mention that “Ratatouille” is one of my favorite animated films!

  3. Frank List says:

    Hi Kaye!

    Can’t wait to try this recipe! Of course, I will be inserting some good ol’ Tennessee stock into it, for a Southern twist…and I’ll include ‘hot water hoe-cake’ on the side!

    Looks delicious!!


  4. Javon says:

    This looks awesome, I will be trying this one soon.Its almost like the one I did, but have a couple of different things. Thank you

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