I have been dying to sign up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) for ages. If you’re not familiar with CSA, it’s a great way to get locally sourced food, directly from farm to table. The problem? It’s pretty pricey. So, I’d been hitting the farm stand a few miles away.
A few weeks ago, I scored a great deal to try out our local CSA for 1/2 price for a month. Our first box arrived (at our doorstep, no less) last Monday morning. Let me tell you, it was like Christmas. My 3 1/2 year old son and I went through the box. He asked what each kind of fruit and vegetable was, then proceeded to try to take a bite. My kid loves his produce. Proud mama here.
The box was chock full of goodness…fresh romaine, zucchini, napa cabbage, beets, green onions, apricots, pluots, peaches, mushrooms, red grapes and a cantaloupe.
That’s a LOT of produce. So much, I was kind of worried I wouldn’t be able to use it all before it went bad.
Then a light bulb went on…RATATOUILLE.
I chopped up that zucchini and the mushrooms, then added peppers I had on hand, some yellow squash and tomatoes from our garden. Colorful and delicious.
If you’ve never tried ratatouille, you absolutely must. Especially if you’re not a big fan of vegetables. I will state that I truly believe that roasting vegetables will convince even the pickiest, veggie hating eater. Roasting preserves the nutrients and adds a different dimension of flavor.
Also? Ratatouille is versatile. I’m sure die-hard French chefs would protest, but I think you can pretty much roast up any darn mix of veggies you want and call it ratatouille.
So here’s my recipe. It’s super easy. And perfect for summer.
– Any mix of veg you like, chopped into similar sized pieces. I usually do peppers, zucchini and cherry tomatoes, then whatever else I have languishing in the crisper.
– Olive Oil.
– Sea salt and fresh ground pepper.
That’s it. I told you it was easy.
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Chuck your veg on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper (Don’t be stingy with the salt, yo. Just don’t go crazy). Bake the mixture until the vegetables are fork tender – I usually start checking them at about 15 minutes.
Once it’s done? Eat as is, or top with a nice piece of grilled chicken or fish. Toss with whole wheat pasta. My favorite lately has been mixing the ratatouille with leftover cooked quinoa or brown rice and balsamic vinaigrette. It’s a delicious and quick lunch and is equally good hot or cold. It’s a great packable option.
So now you really have NO excuse to let vegetables go bad. Make a ton of ratatouille and you’ll always have a delicious option just waiting for you in the fridge.