Slow Cooker / Crockpot · Vegetables / Side Dishes

Slow Cooker Ratatouille

My trusty and dependable collection of slow cookers are the hardest working appliances in my home right now – especially during these sweltering Las Vegas summer days.

Although, truth be told, it doesn’t seem like it’s been as hot as usual. Make no mistake – 105 degrees is HOT – but aside from a 10 day period of 117+ days, it’s been tolerable.

I said tolerable, not enjoyable.

I made this ratatouille months ago, and honestly, I actually forgot about it. Forgot that I had the picture, not that I forgot about how deliciously simple and easy it was to make and to eat. I served it over pasta (the original recipe called for polenta) and now, seeing the picture again is inspiring me to make another batch.

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Especially since Fresh and Easy has eggplant and zucchini on sale …..

Slow Cooker Ratatouille – adapted from epicurious

Cooking spray
2 large eggplants, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 10 1/2 cups)
3 medium zucchini or yellow summer squash, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 6 1/2 cups)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 small to medium red onions, halved and thinly sliced (about 3 1/2 cups)
2 red bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
3 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup tomato paste
One 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
10 grinds black pepper
1/2 cup packed freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 1/4 pound)
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves

Grease the slow cooker with cooking spray.Place the eggplant and zucchini in the greased slow cooker. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a 10-inch, heavy sauté pan over medium-high heat. When warm, add the onions, bell peppers, and garlic and sauté until the vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker. Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. As soon as it melts, add the flour and tomato paste, and cook until the mixture is thickened and the flour disappears, about 1 minute. Increase the heat to medium high and add the tomatoes with their juices, thyme, and pepper. Cook, crushing the tomatoes a bit with a wooden spoon, until thickened and smooth, about 6 minutes. Mix with the vegetables in the slow cooker. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low until the vegetables are tender, 4 to 5 hours. Uncover and remove from the heat; immediately stir in the cheese and basil.
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