Rustic Ratatouille with Herby Polenta
Late summer vegetables get the special treatment in this version of Ratatouille. The dish originates from Provence, a region in the South of France near the Mediterranean Sea. It’s a slow roasted, or slow simmered, stew of summer vegetables, generously seasoned with olive oil, garlic, and an assortment of herbs. Google “Ratatouille” and you’ll find an array of variations on this dish—including gorgeous ways to style and arrange the vegetable assortment prior to baking. Here, we keep it rustic and simple by dicing a number of veggies—including the first eggplant from our small, urban garden! Served over an herby polenta, this is a dish that is surely going to be a hit in your Meatless Monday rotation.
Rustic Ratatouille with Herby Polenta Recipe
For the Ratatouille
- 1 small or medium eggplant, diced into 1/2 inch chunks
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- 3 medium zucchini, diced into 1/2 inch chunks
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped
- 6 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed and finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
For the Herbed Polenta:
- 1½ cups cornmeal
- 5 cups water
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
- Splash of syrupy balsamic vinegar (use the really good stuff you can get your hands on here)
- Freshly torn basil leaves from your CSA
- Drizzle of good quality extra-virgin olive oil (I am fan of this option or this one)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Dice and chop all your veggies and place on the parchment lined baking sheet. Depending on how you want to roast them, you can either toss them all together or keep the squash and eggplant together and the tomato and onion on another baking sheet. They will all be combined together in the end, so this is totally up to you.
Chop your rosemary and thyme leaves. Mince your garlic. Drizzle your olive oil onto the veggies. Sprinkle your kosher salt and ground black pepper over the veggies. Sprinkle your crushed red pepper flakes followed by the minced garlic and chopped herbs. Using your hands, massage the seasonings and herbs onto the vegetables, coating them generously. Roast your vegetables for 40 to 50 minutes, until edges begin to crisp and vegetables begin to caramelize slightly. Remove from oven to cool slightly.
During the last 15 minutes of cooking, prep your polenta. Bring a large saucepan filled with 5 cups water to a boil. Add in your polenta and kosher salt. Reduce the heat to low and cook, while stirring often, until the polenta thickens and absorbs the liquid, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add in your fresh chopped herbs and the olive oil. Stir until fragrant and the herbs and olive oil are well combined into the polenta.
To plate: Ladle your herbed polenta into shallow pasta bowls. Top with a few spoonfuls of your ratatouille. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and torn basil leaves.
Give thanks and enjoy!
About Your Recipe Blogger
Frances is a food blogger and recipe developer focused on crafting nourishing meals that use up all the ingredients in her weekly Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share box. She writes a weekly Sunday blog post called “Dinner Plans” highlighting easy and delicious meal ideas based on the ingredients of the week’s CSA box. Having grown up in Southern California, Frances first began shopping the local Fresno Farmer’s Markets when she lived in the Central Valley with her family in 2013 and quickly became an advocate for supporting small and local farms as she saw the explicit connection of farm-to-table dining. She has been a proud member of Sage Mountain Farm’s CSA since April 2020 with approximately 90% of the produce Frances uses to cook meals at home coming directly from her CSA box. You can find her on Instagram (@FrancesKellar) and on her website: Cooking with Our CSA. She lives in Pomona, CA with her husband, the owner and craftsman behind Pino Grande Woodworking, and their two adorable and very active children.
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