Real Food Mama

Musings about cooking, eating and everything in between.

Farmer’s Market Meals August 5, 2009

Eggplant varieties

Eggplant varieties

This week is National Farmer’s market week and in honor of the special occasion, I have been trying to cook much of our food this week solely from the farmer’s market. Since my market provides a good selection of meat, dairy and produce, it hasn’t been all that difficult, but there has been one particularly successful meal – ratatouille.

My market provides all of the ingredients, with the exception of sea salt. I learned a few tricks recently that really made this a successful dish. First, in order to improve the texture of the eggplant do the following: slice it approx 1/4 inch thick then lay it out on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle each piece with salt and let it sit for about an hour. The salt will pull the excess water out of the eggplant, resulting in a firmer texture upon cooking. The other secret I learned was this: when making ratatouille, the key is the cooking order – Eggplant, Zucchini, Peppers, Onions, Tomatoes. So that being said, here is the recipe I used!

    Farmer’s Market ratatouille

1 small eggplant – about 3/4 pound
1 large zucchini
1 medium onion
1 sweet pepper (I prefer green as I think this compliments the flavors best)
2 medium or 1 large heirloom tomato, skinned (To skin the tomato, drop into boiling water for a few seconds, then shock in cold water. The skin will split and should peel off easily.)
2 – 4 TBS Olive oil
Sea salt

After preparing the eggplant and tomato as mentioned above, cut the vegetables into bite sized chunks – I like to go ahead and put the eggplant in the pan then cut the zucchini and so on, but you are certainly free to do all your chopping at once!

Heat the olive oil in a heavy cast iron skillet and put the vegetables in, eggplant first. Allow each veggie to cook down before adding the next, especially the eggplant. Once you have added the final vegetable (the tomato) season with salt to your taste and serve.

Voila! Easy ratatouille!

This post has been my contribution to Real Food Wednesday, hosted this week by Kelly the Kitchen Kop.


2 Responses to “Farmer’s Market Meals”

  1. foodietots Says:

    Very helpful tips. My last attempt at ratatouille turned out more closely resembling a pile of mush, so I’ve been reluctant to try it again.

    I found you via Real Food Wednesday — thought you might be interested in my kids at the market contest/tribute to Farmers Market Week. Hope you’ll stop by and check it out!

    colleen –

  2. […] and Asian eggplants. Nearing the end of the summer, I’m planning on eating some ratatouille while the local tomatoes are in their peak. Ratatouille would also be a good use of Jorma’s […]

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