Florida Ratatouille

This Florida ratatouille has okra instead of eggplant.  Just like traditional ratatouille, it can be served hot or cold.  It’s a perfect summertime veggie dish.

So how can it be ratatouille without eggplant?  I’ve taken the liberty of calling it that because for one, I love the word, and two, I follow the traditional French method of cooking it.  This begins with sautéing each vegetable separately so they retain individual flavors.  The vegetables are then layered in a pot and baked in the oven together.  It’s a great way to cook vegetables, especially okra, because they never get mushy or slimy.  They’re each cooked to perfection.  It’s well worth the extra steps.


Florida Ratatouille

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2- 3 cups sliced okra
  • 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cup diced bell pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 sprigs oregano
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2/3 cup choped parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

Heat the oven to 325.  Oil a Dutch oven or a casserole with high sides and a lid.  Place it in the oven.

Heat a large skillet over medium-low.  Sauté the onions in olive oil, stirring often.  Turn the heat down if they begin to brown.  Continue to cook until they begin to caramelize, about 15 minutes.  Add the leaves of the sprigs of oregano and thyme and a little pinch of salt.  Transfer the mixture to the Dutch oven or casserole in the oven.

Add a little more olive oil to the skillet if needed.  Sauté the bell peppers until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.  Layer them on top of the onions in the oven without stirring it together.

Add a little more olive oil to the skillet if needed.  Sauté the okra until it turns bright grass green, about 7-8 minutes.    Layer the okra on top of the bell peppers in the oven without stirring.

Add more olive oil to the skillet if needed.  Sauté the tomatoes, stirring often, until they begin to release their juice.  Add the minced garlic, red pepper flakes, parsley and a pinch of salt.  Layer it on top of the okra in the oven.

Put a lid on the Dutch oven or casserole.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and stir it just before serving.

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