Slow Cooker Ratatouille, for the 21st Century Peasant

Ingredients for ratatouille: eggplant, zucchini, tomato, mushroom, bell pepper, onion

I’m back again. Hugs of reassurance to you if you missed me.

I suppose we have an animated film to thank for a generation of young Americans that know how to pronounce the word ‘ratatouille’ at least somewhat correctly. Some portion of that cohort also knows that ratatouille is a vegetable dish of southern France. A quick Google search will tell you that there are many different ways to prepare ratatouille, e.g. carefully layered and roasted, sautéed then simmered, or slapped together into a slow cooker before leaving for the day. Well boy howdy guess which category this recipe falls into.

Ratatouille can be eaten as a meatless main by itself, or with bread or polenta. It can also be served as a side to accompany… I guess a piece of grilled fish or a nice big sausage.

For the record, I consider myself a modern/urban peasant due to my current economic status. I can’t afford to spend all morning in the kitchen nor can I afford to purchase another human being to do my bidding. This is a dish of inexpensive ingredients.  Meanwhile, I do like to think I have acceptable hygiene, a good deal of intelligence, and a handsome face, contrary to the Urban Dictionary definition of peasant.

 

Slow Cooker Ratatouille, for the 21st Century Peasant

Serves: 4-6
Time: 15 min prep + 4-8 hours in the slow cooker

  • 4-5 cloves garlic, chopped up
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 10 crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 eggplants (the thin kind), cut into chunks
  • 2 zucchini, cut into chunks
  • 1 red bell pepper, core removed and cut into chunks
  • 1 green bell peppers, core removed and cut into chunks
  • 3 tomatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
    OR
    1 can (796 ml) diced tomatoes (reserve the liquid for a different recipe)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • fresh basil, coupe en chiffonnade
  • good olive oil

 Ingredients for ratatouille: eggplant, zucchini, tomato, mushroom, bell pepper, onion
My garlic was a little camera shy so it got to sit this one out.

  1. Place all the vegetables in a slow cooker (technically a mix of fruits and vegetables), along with the bay leaf, thyme, and oregano.

slow cooker filled for ratatouille
I overfilled the slow cooker a bit and got scared.  Later I was relieved, as the vegetables shrink and their exuded liquid does not overboil in the slow cooker.

  1. Cover and cook on High for 4 hours, or Low for 8 hours.
  1. Stir in salt and pepper, to your taste.
  1. Serve topped with fresh basil and a splash of good olive oil. I tried a little white truffle oil which was good, but overpowering for this dish.

slow cooker ratatouille

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