The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Okra and bean ratatouille

RatatouilleI don't know if you can call a dish that lacks eggplant ratatouille, but whatever this is, it's a delicious way to use up a lot of late summer veggies.  The broiled okra completely lacks sliminess and the other flavors meld together into a feast.  Plus, by roasting the vegetables nearly whole, you retain most of the vitamins.

To make the ratatouille, first fill your basket with:

  • 4 summer squash or zucchini
  • 2 large, sweet bell peppers (or several smaller ones)
  • 12 to 20 small okra
  • 4 large tomatoes (or an equivalent number of tommy-toes)
  • 2 large onions
  • 6 cloves of garlic

Nutritional information for ratatouilleCut the squash in half, core the peppers and cut them in halves or quarters, chop off the okra tops and cut them in half, and cut the tomatoes in half --- all cuts are long-ways.  Peel the onions and cut them into half inch wedges.  Put the garlic through a garlic press and add it to the rest of the vegetables.

Broiled vegetables

Pour a few tablespoons of olive oil and a liberal amount of salt and pepper onto the vegetables and mix them up until all of the surfaces are lightly oiled.  Then lay the vegetables out on cookie sheets, cut sides down.  Broil in the oven until the vegetables are soft and the skins are very slightly blackened.  (About five minutes, less for the peppers.)

While you're broiling, rush out into the garden and clip a cup of basil leaves and chop them into bits.  Add a cup and a half of pre-cooked beans and two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.
Bowl of beans and bowl of basil
Once the vegetables are cool enough to handle, chop them into bite-size pieces and throw them in with the beans and basil.  If necessary, add more salt and pepper.

We ate our ratatouille over rice, and this recipe looked like it would serve about eight.  Mark rated it 7 out of 10 (probably losing points because of the presence of beans and lack of meat) while I rated it an 8.5.  Definitely worth repeating!

Our homemade chicken waterer keeps your flock healthy from day old chicks to four year old layers.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Hope this is on the menu when I visit.
Comment by Errol Fri Oct 1 08:09:52 2010
I was actually testing it out as a Daddy-friendly dish. :-)
Comment by anna Fri Oct 1 08:19:50 2010

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