½ yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
8-10 brown mushrooms, sliced
2 bell peppers (orange, red or yellow), seeded and cubed
1 zucchini, cubed
1 summer squash, cubed
1 medium eggplant, cubed
6 large, fresh tomatoes or 1 (15 oz.) can chopped tomatoes
1 Tbsp tomato paste
½ cup dry red wine (e.g., Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel)
1 Tbsp Herbes de Provence
1 Tbsp dried basil or handful of fresh basil, chopped
1 Tbsp dried parsley or handful of fresh Italian parsley, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
To Peel Fresh Tomatoes:
Boil a large pot of water. Slightly score across the base of each tomato with a cross mark. Once boiling, drop in the tomatoes for about 30 seconds or until the skin starts to peel. Using a slotted spoon, remove tomatoes from boiling water and place in a large bowl of ice water. Once cooled, use a paring knife to peel off the skin. Chop tomato flesh into large chunks and set aside.
To Make Ratatouille:
Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions, garlic, mushrooms and bell pepper and cook until soft, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to pot and add zucchini, summer squash and eggplant. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until vegetables are cooked but firm. Note, eggplant requires a fair amount of olive oil as it soaks it up. Add more olive oil as needed so vegetables don’t stick to the pot.
Add tomatoes, tomato paste, red wine and herbs. Season with salt and pepper and cover the pot. Cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
Serve in bowls or plates and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Herbes de Provence is a combination of dried herbs found in dishes in the Provence region of France. Bay leaf, thyme, fennel, rosemary, chervil, oregano, summer savory, tarragon, mint, lavender and marjoram are some of the herbs typically used. You can easily find this herb blend in the spice/herb section of your grocery store.
If you don’t have fresh tomatoes, S&W offers a line of canned tomatoes from whole-peeled to ready-cut and No Salt Added to Italian Recipe. S&W can be found in any major grocery store in the canned section.
David H. Rahm, M.D. is the founder and medical director of The Wellness Center, a medical clinic located in Long Beach, CA. Dr. Rahm is also president and medical director of VitaMedica. Dr. Rahm is one of a select group of conventional medical doctors who have education and expertise in functional medicine and nutritional science. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Rahm has published articles in the plastic surgery literature and educated physicians about the importance of good peri-operative nutrition.