Louisiana Ratatouille

Alright all my vegan and vegetarian readers, I know you see lots of recipes on my blog that aren’t for you but look at this one for Louisiana Ratatouille! I was sent a press release about The Vegetarian Slow Cooker (Robert Rose; February 2010; softcover/$24.95; ISBN: 978-0-7788-0239-6). I knew I had to share this with you all since you see so many “meaty” recipes here on my blog. See, I told you I would find stuff for you all too! All the samples recipes looked yummy, but I thought the Louisiana Ratatouille sounded delicious, even though I would leave out the okra. I hope you enjoy the recipe and look for the book too!

The Vegetarian Slow Cooker Cookbook

 

Louisiana Ratatouille

Serves 6
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish
By author Judith Finlayson

Ingredients

  • 2 Medium eggplant, peeled, cubed in 2" pieces, sweated and drained of excess moisture (see tips)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 Medium onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
  • 1 can 28oz chopped tomatoes with juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1lb okra, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 Medium green bell pepper, diced 1/4" pieces

Directions

In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add eggplant, in batches, and cook, stirring, until lightly browned. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware.

Reduce heat to medium. Add onions to pan and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, salt and peppercorns and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes with juice and red wine vinegar and bring to a boil. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware.

Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours or on High for 3 hours, until hot and bubbly. Add okra and bell pepper. Cover and cook on High for 30 minutes, until okra is tender.
Tips:

Okra, a tropical vegetable, has a great flavor but it becomes unpleasantly sticky when overcooked. Choose young okra pods, 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) long, that don’t feel sticky to the touch (if sticky, they are too ripe). Gently scrub the pods and cut off the top and tail. Okra can also be found in the freezer section of the grocery store. Thaw before adding to slow cooker.

Place cubed eggplant in a colander, sprinkle liberally with salt, toss well and set aside for
30 minutes to 1 hour. If time is short, blanch the pieces for a minute or two in heavily salted water. In either case, rinse thoroughly in fresh cold water and, using your hands, squeeze out excess moisture. Pat dry with paper towels and it’s ready for cooking.

If you are halving this recipe, be sure to use a small (approx. 1-1⁄2 to 3-1⁄2 quart) slow cooker.

Make Ahead:
Complete Steps 1 and 2. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. When you’re ready to cook, complete the recipe.