|Slow Cooker Ratatouille over Goat Cheese Polenta|
I added chickpeas to the vegetable-heavy dish and served it over polenta (cornmeal) spiked with goat cheese. The recipe makes a ton and polenta doesn’t reheat the best, so if you plan to have leftovers, you might want to serve it atop quinoa, noodles, or even gnocchi. This will absolutely be made in our kitchen again, especially this summer when eggplant and basil are so abundant!
Two Years Ago: Recipe Ideas for Cinco de Mayo and Citrus Almond Salad
Three Years Ago: Best of 2011-Bahn Mi So and Curried Sweet Potato Chickpea Burgers
Four Years Ago: Baked Eggs in Potato Skins and Peanut Butter Cup Blondies
for the ratatouille:
-2 large eggplants, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
-3 medium zucchini or yellow summer squash, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
-3 tbsp coarse salt
-3 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
-2 small to medium red onions, halved and thinly sliced
-3 bell peppers, cut into thin slices
-1 (14.5 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
-3 tbsp finely chopped garlic
-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
-1/4 cup tomato paste
-1 (28 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes
-1 tsp ground thyme
-10 grinds black pepper
-1/2 cup packed freshly grated Parmesan
-1 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
for the polenta:
-4 cups low sodium chicken stock (could use vegetable to keep it vegetarian)
-2 cups water
-1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
-1 1/2 cups polenta or coarse-ground cornmeal
-1/2 stick unsalted butter
-4 oz fresh goat cheese
-10 grinds black pepper
1. Spray the slow cooker with cooking spray and set aside.
2. Place the eggplant in a large colander tossed with 3 tbsp salt. Allow to sit for 45 minutes. Rinse the eggplant to remove the salt, dry the eggplant, and squeeze out excess water with a kitchen towel. Add to the slow cooker, along with the chopped zucchini.
3. In a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, melt 2 tbsp of butter. Once melted, add the onions, bell peppers, and garlic and saute until vegetables are soft (about 8 minutes). Add to the slow cooker.
4. Reduce heat to medium and add the remaining 1 tbsp butter. Once melted, add the flour and tomato paste, cooking for 1 minutes, or until flour disappears and mixture thickens. Increase heat to medium-high and add the tomatoes with their juices, thyme, and pepper. Cook, crushing the tomatoes with a wooden spoon, until mixture is thick and smooth (about 6 minutes). Add to the slow cooker along with the chickpeas.
5. Stir everything in the slow cooker to combine, cover, and cook on low for 4-5 hours, until vegetables are tender.
6. While the ratatouille is cooking, bring the broth and water and salt to a boil in a medium, heavy saucepan. Once boiling, gradually whisk in cornmeal. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring every 3 minutes, until creamy and thick. (Original instructions say this will take 30 minutes, but it only took me about 10). Remove from heat and stir in the butter, cheese, and pepper.
7. Just before serving the ratatouille, stir in the Parmesan and basil.
8. Ladle polenta into bowls, spoon ratatouille on top, and serve immediately.