NE Box Newsletter for August 9, 2019 Pickup

Good morning all! Going to jump right in with a can’t-miss summer recipe that encompasses all that’s so good about fresh summer veg. Ratatouille. Oh yes. And you can get pretty much all you’ll need to make it, in this week’s Nebraska Box. The only thing we don’t have for you, is a copy of that delightful 2007 film, Ratatouille. Well you’ve got til next weekend to figure out how to get your hands on the movie so you can make yourself a big ol’ batch of this French Provençal veggie stew, and watch an inspirational tale about a little rat named Remy, with a big dream to be a chef.

Once you make this dish,  you’re going to want to make it to have around all the time! Eat it warm, room temp, cold… Atop a piece of crusty bread, or alongside rice, or polenta, or pasta. Within your omelet, or with poached eggs. I’d even go so far as to suggest it as a pizza topping! Whatever strikes you as good, it is. You made it, you enjoy it how you want. Scroll on down if you want to skip this recipe and the many pictures accompanying it =)

Ratatouille

Ratatouille is a bright and chunky summer vegetable stew, rich with olive oil and fragrant with garlic and herbs.

Servings: 8 (Makes about 7 cups)
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large eggplant, cut into 1/3-inch cubes
  • Salt
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 2 medium zucchini (can sub part yellow summer squash)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • red, orange or yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice  —-yes, a colorful bell pepper is probably better, but I think a green bell pepper would be just fine
  • 5 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 large vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into 1/3-inch cubes, with their juices
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped thyme, plus more for serving
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  1. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the eggplant and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until soft and starting to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  2. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan (no need to clean it). Add the zucchini and cook, stirring frequently, until tender-crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and transfer to a plate; set aside.
  3. Add two more tablespoons of oil to the pan and add the onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking for about 3 minutes more. Do not brown. Add the tomatoes and their juices, tomato paste, thyme, sugar, crushed red pepper flakes (if using) and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are broken down into a sauce, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the cooked eggplant to the pan; bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until the eggplant is soft. Add the zucchini and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more, or until just warmed through. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Sprinkle with fresh basil and thyme, drizzle with a little olive oil if desired, and serve warm or chilled. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

HOW TO MAKE RATATOUILLE–in pictures

Begin by heating 3 tablespoons of oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the eggplant and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Cook, stirring frequently, until soft and starting to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

cooked eggplant for ratatouille

Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan (no need to clean it). Add  zucchini and cook, stirring frequently, until tender-crisp, 3 to 4 minutes.

zucchini ratatouille

Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and transfer to a plate; set aside.

cooked zucchini ratatouille

Add two more tablespoons of oil to the pan and add the onion and bell pepper.

onions and peppers

Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.

garlic ratatouille

Add the garlic and continue cooking for about 3 minutes more. Do not brown. Next, add the tomatoes, tomato paste, thyme, sugar, crushed red pepper flakes (if using) and 3/4 teaspoon salt.

tomatoes ratatouille

Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are broken down into a sauce, 8 to 10 minutes.

cooked tomatoes ratatouille

Add the cooked eggplant to the pan; bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until the eggplant is soft.

eggplant tomatoes ratatouille

Add the zucchini (and/or yellow summer squash) and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more, or until just warmed through. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

zucchini eggplant tomatoes ratatouille

Sprinkle with fresh basil and thyme, drizzle with a little olive oil if desired, and serve warm or chilled.

basil ratatouille

If possible, you should make ratatouille at least a day ahead of time — like most stews, the taste improves after the flavors have a chance to mingle in the refrigerator. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months for a taste of summer once the cooler weather arrives. Enjoy!

Recipe and photos by Jennifer Segal

Here’s what we’ve got planned for ya this week. Do change it up or add on as you like!

Purple Daikon Radish from RhizoCity Farms (2 ct)

Purple Eggplant from Pekarek’s Produce*

Red Cabbage from Pekarek’s Produce

Norland Red Potatoes from Pekarek’s Produce (3 lb bag)

Sweet Corn from Abie Vegetable People* (1/2 dozen)

Microgreens from Robinette Farms

Everything Bagels from Bagel Bin (1/2 dozen)

Purple Eggplant from Pekarek’s Produce*

Red Cabbage from Pekarek’s Produce

Norland Red Potatoes from Pekarek’s Produce (3 lb bag)

Sweet Corn from Abie Vegetable People* (1/2 dozen)

Grassfed Ground Sirloin from Davey Road Ranch (1 lb)

Dill Chevre from Honey Creek Creamery (4 oz)

Fresh Oyster Mushrooms from Abie Vegetable People (6 oz)


We’ve got Burbach’s whole milk in half-gallon reusable/returnable glass jugs. I have found that this milk really does seem to stay fresh for quite awhile, especially if you don’t need to open it right off the bat. But full disclosure—the “best by” date on this week’s bottles is Aug. 13, just soes ya know….

New this week–Abie Vegetable People is growing hot peppers! You can get a “Hot Pepper Pack” that will be a mix of four jalapenos and two hot banana peppers. Coming soon, they’ll have serranos and Pahlavi peppers too. 

Stock up on all Daniels Produce canned items this week, as they are ON SALE! I especially love the sauerkraut. And the dilly beans. And the salsas….A direct quote overheard in the LTF office this week: “I now can’t imagine eating pork tacos without Daniels’ salsa verde on them!” I think that’s enough said.

Also new this week–BAGELS! They’re from Bagel Bin in Omaha and I’m beyond excited for them. They’re all-natural New York-Style bagels made in a family-owned and kosher bakery.

Let us know what you think. This week’s bagel flavor is Everything. You can’t go wrong with Everything. And Everything is all good.

 

 Happy eating this week and here’s to Everything!