no meat monday – vegetarian ratatouille with garlic toast & ricotta

It’s another no meat Monday in our house tonite. I have been extremely slack lately with my no meat Mondays, mainly because we have been super busy. But here is the ultimate comfort food, well for me anyways.. AND leftovers can be made into a quick and easy lasagna… nom nom nom.

** Pre-heat oven to 200*C

Ingredients
– 3 lebanese eggplants/1 large eggplant, sliced lengthways and cut into chunks
– a good handful of button or swiss brown mushrooms
– 2 zucchini, sliced lengthways and cut around the same size as the eggplant
– 1 white/brown onion, finely chopped
– 1 can of butter beans, double rinsed and drained
– 4 squash, quartered
– 2 coloured capsicums, cut into chunks
– handful of basil leaves
– parsley
– good quality olive oil
– 1/2 teaspoon of crushed chilli, fresh is best but I always have this on hand
– 1  tablespoons of tomato paste
– 1-2 cans of whole tomatoes
– 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
– 1 teaspoon of raw sugar
– splash of good quality red wine + a sneaky glass for you 😉
– half a french baguette
– 3 cloves of garlic, one minced the others whole
– 1 cup of smooth ricotta
– salt and pepper

1. Using a large heavy based pot on a medium heat, add some oil and add your minced garlic, onion and chilli. Fry until cooked and the onions are gaining a little colour. Add all of your other veg and cook for 5mintues, or until some pieces gain colour.
3. Add tomato paste and cook this off stirring constantly for 2minutes. Then add the tomatoes, vinegar and sugar. Stir well and break the tomatoes up as you go – you want to add enough tomatoes to make is thick, not saucy or stew-like. Splash in some wine too 😀
4. Check for seasonings, and alter salt and pepper to your taste. Turn the heat to low and simmer gently for 15minutes.
5. Add the butter beans to the pot to heat through and throw in some ‘erbs.
6. Cut the baguette into thickish slices. Brush each side of the bread with a little oil and toast in a frying pan until just golden. Once removed from the pan, rub each side of the toasts with the whole garlic clove. It’s a good idea to do this whilst they are still hot 😀
7. Serve in bowl, with a dollop of ricotta, extra fresh herbs and sides of garlic toasts. Viola!

Serves – 6

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