I fell into a pattern the last few weeks of the CSA pickup. I get to The Westy, see the glorious table full of the world’s most beautiful vegetables, and gooo straight for the tomatoes! I mean, ya gotta love’em up while you can! However, this resulted in drawers full of all of the eggplants and peppers that I took with such inspired plans only to end up eating open-faced tomato and butter sandwiches everyday (with delight, I might add).
With many many eggplants and peppers simply awaiting their destiny, I decided to make a late summer ratatouille. Late summer meaning since I didn’t have any summer squash I decided to omit them which resulted in slow cooked, fall-apart eggplant, soft, juicy peppers, rich, earthy onions all held together by my new best friend, tomato pulp. That is tomatoes that have been put through a food mill. It results in a thick, borderline gelatinous pulp of all that is the delicious essence of tomato.
I enjoyed the ratatouille over a piece of super crusty bread, a poached egg and some fresh basil. It was a delight.
Late Summer Ratatouille Over Toast with a Poached Egg
- 3 Plowbreak Farm eggplants, diced
- 2 small white onions, sliced
- 3 Plowbreak Farm bell peppers, diced finely
- 1 Plowbreak Farm leek, thinly sliced
- 2 Plowbreak tomatoes, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, cut into a chiffonade, a pinch reserved for garnish
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- salt, pepper, olive oil
- crusty bread, for serving
- eggs for poaching
- Parmigiano Reggiano, for grating over the top
In a cast iron skillet over medium low heat, warm a few tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown slightly, about 10-15 minutes. Add the eggplant continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and just beginning to brown. Season with salt and pepper.
Stir in the bell peppers and the fresh herbs. Holding the food mill directly over the pan extract all of the juices and pulp from the tomatoes directly into the ratatouille. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the tomato pulp has cooked down and the stew has thickened. Add the red wine vinegar and taste for seasoning. Add any salt and pepper as necessary.
Spoon into a bowl over a piece of crusty bread, top with a poached egg, some grated parmiginano reggiano cheese, some fresh basil and enjoy!