Tumbleweed Farm Autumn Ratatouille
There is a nip in the air as the days grow shorter here at Tumbleweed Farm. The morning harvest requires huge mugs of piping hot coffee, winter hats and recently, long johns worn underneath our work clothes. Autumn is definitely here to stay and our days of non-stop irrigating, heatstroke and crankiness are a distant memory. Not only is fall a welcome change but it’s downright amazing! There is even fresh snow on Mt. Hood. Pinch me! Sunrise at Tumbleweed is looking better and better each day.
Even our chickens seem to be happier in this cooler weather. Taylor loves checking on them in the morning and having a little quality bonding time before tending to other farm chores. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this enough but we eat a LOT of fresh eggs in our household. A typical breakfast is a green smoothie with a side of scrambled eggs, toast and a lot of coffee. It’s the perfect farmers fuel and we usually stay full for hours. I love raising chickens!
We are loving this slower pace and are equally loving the fall bounty. Our late season harvest is in full swing and winter squash, sweet potatoes, parsnips, broccoli and winter greens are all coming in strong. I wanted to celebrate the flavors of the season in this simple autumn ratatouille. Not only is it incredibly delicious but it hits the spot on a chilly September evening.
I don’t know about you all but I’ve only ever eaten a summer ratatouille. And while I think it’s delicious I’m never quite in the mood for such a hearty and filling dish in the middle of summer. I was inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi, the author of Plenty to make a fall version of this summer classic. I changed his recipe quite a bit and eliminated some steps to simplify. What I wanted to highlight most was the end of summer produce with early fall crops. This dish is absolutely delicious and a cinch to whip up-if you don’t mind standing in front of the stove for a bit! This is the kind of meal that gets better with age and makes great leftovers.
If there is the slightest nip in the air where you live I invite you to spend a little quality time in your kitchen creating this simple and comforting meal. We served our ratatouille over cooked green lentils for a hearty and filling main course. This would taste equally delicious over rice, quinoa or simply as is. Grab a fork and enjoy!
Tumbleweed Farm Autumn Ratatouille
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 45 minutes Serves: 6
- 4 Tablespoons grapeseed oil (or another neutral high heat oil)
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 small green chile, thinly sliced (can sub a jalapeño)
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
- 2 parsnips, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 medium-small eggplant cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 small potato, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 2 medium-sized tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
- Heat the oil in a large heavy casserole dish or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and chile pepper. Cook for about 2 more minutes stirring often. Add the squash, parsnips, zucchini, eggplant and potato. Cook until the vegetables brown up a bit and become fragrant. About 5 minutes.
- Stir in the chopped tomatoes, honey, tomato paste, crushed red pepper flakes and plenty of salt and pepper. Cover the pan and lightly simmer the vegetables for about 30 minutes. Check often and if the veggies become too dry add a little water.
- After 30 minutes or so taste test the vegetables. They should be soft and the flavors should be melting together. Adjust seasonings as needed and serve over cooked lentils with plenty of fresh chopped cilantro.
Notes*Use this recipe as a guide. *Adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary. *Serving sizes will vary depending on the size of your vegetables. *Have fun in the kitchen and don't be afraid to switch things up.