Fall is undeniably my favorite season in terms of weather, cozy clothing, and hot beverages, but it’s tough to beat summer produce! As we speed through September, I wanted to give summer’s bounty one final hurrah, but with using my go-to fall kitchen appliance- my slow cooker.
Danny and I are leaving for Italy at the end of the week, so I wanted work lunches to be prepped as much as possible because I knew evenings would be a flurry of last minute planning and packing. So, while football was playing in the background, I dusted off my slow cooker (or crock pot, as others may know it) and tossed in the easiest “farewell summer” ratatouille.
I plan to serve this alongside different grains (quinoa or farro most likely), with a new protein each day to beat boredom (I have some frozen shrimp and garbanzo beans that would both work well I think). You could certainly dress it up each day with a new flavor too- add olives, capers, or cheese to keep things interesting!
Are you ready for fall or hanging on to summer?
Farewell Summer Ratatouille- serves 3
2 small Italian eggplants
1 yellow squash
1 red and 1 orange bell pepper
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp dried basil
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
Cut all vegetables (minus tomatoes) into small 1-inch cubes. You want them to all be about the same size so that they cook evenly. Add all prepped vegetables and tomatoes to slow cooker.
To vegetables, add tomato paste, olive oil, basil, and salt. Use hands or a large spoon to toss everything together until all ingredients are mixed well.
Cook on the HIGH setting for 4 hours.
Once finished, remove cooked vegetables with a slotted spoon as a lot of liquid will have been released during cooking. Serve right away or store in glass container and add to lunches throughout the week.