By Nancy Eisman
Originating in Nice, France, in the late 18th century, Ratatouille (rat-ah-too-ee) is a classic French vegetable stew that is a staple in Provence, consisting of eggplant, bell peppers, summer squash, tomatoes and garlic and/or onions. Placing uniform pieces of these veggies on skewers to grill up on the barbeque makes for a fun, lighter summer variation of this traditional fall/winter dish.
A delicious medley of the season’s best ingredients, these kebabs make a great summer meal when served over a bed of seasoned farro, quinoa or couscous. Brilliantly simple but still hearty and heart-healthy, Ratatouille on a stick (stew on a skew) with a drizzle of tangy dressing will please everyone whether enjoyed as a main or side dish.
Soak wooden skewers in warm water for about 10 minutes. Fire up the grill to medium-high heat. Place the veggies, cut into 1½ inch pieces (leave the tomatoes and peppers whole), on the skewers leaving about ¼ inch of room between each ingredient. Brush the kebabs with olive oil, place on the grill, and cook about 4 minutes on each of the 4 sides, while basting with the vinaigrette. Drizzle any remaining vinaigrette over the grains for extra flavor. Serve hot off the grill or at room temperature.
Enjoy with a glass of rose’ and you’ll be transported to the French countryside for the evening. Bon appétit.
2 to 3 Japanese or Chinese Eggplants, cut into 1½ inch pieces
1 package Melissa’s Veggie Sweet Peppers
1 package Melissa’s Baby Heirloom Tomatoes
6 baby summer squash, cut in ½
3 tatuma squash, cut into 1½ inch pieces
12 large garlic cloves
¾ cup tomato juice
⅓ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
1 shallot, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
Whisk to combine the vinaigrette ingredients and set aside.
Pre-soak 6 wooden skewers or use metal skewers.
Fire up the grill.
Place the veggies on the skewers about ¼ inch apart.
Brush the kebabs with olive oil and place on the grill.
Cook about 4 minutes on each of the 4 sides while basting with the vinaigrette.
Remove kebabs from the grill and enjoy.