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October 5, 2010

Cloudy and cool! Fall has come!

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Everything is still mostly green and it hasn't frozen yet, but suddenly the weather has turned autumnal. It rained about 1/2 inch and since then the mornings have been foggy and cool and if sunshine comes, it comes too late in the day to do any good. I'm hoping that the quail have left some of the ground cover for the garden. They have been out there, scratching and clucking and chortling to themselves as they peck away. As soon as I go out of the house, the whole covey files up in the air, only to return, clucking and chucking to each other.

Everything has slowed way down. A friend came and picked about half the tomatoes and now I feel like the ones left are all I may have. All the warm weather vegies are just sitting still. I still want to make the ratatoiuie before all the warm vegetables are finished.

Here is a great recipe from Epicurious:

2 1/2 lb tomatoes (4 large)
8 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
20 fresh basil leaves, torn in half
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 lb eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 large onions (1 1/2 lb total), quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
3 assorted bell peppers (green, red, and/or yellow; 1 1/2 lb total), cut into 1-inch pieces
4 medium zucchini (2 lb), quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick pieces
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Garnish: Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings and fresh basil
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preparation

Skin the tomatoes then

Coarsely chop tomatoes and transfer to a 5-quart heavy pot with garlic, parsley, basil, and 1/3 cup oil. Simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes break down and sauce is slightly thickened, about 30 minutes.

While sauce is simmering, toss eggplant with 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large colander and let stand in sink 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook onions in 3 tablespoons oil with 1/4 teaspoon salt in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 10 to 12 minutes.

Transfer onions with a slotted spoon to a large bowl, then add 3 tablespoons oil to skillet and cook bell peppers with 1/4 teaspoon salt over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Transfer peppers with slotted spoon to bowl with onions. Add 3 tablespoons oil to skillet and cook zucchini with 1/4 teaspoon salt over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer zucchini with slotted spoon to bowl with other vegetables.

While zucchini are cooking, pat eggplant dry with paper towels. Add remaining oil (about 1/4 cup) to skillet and cook eggplant over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 10 to12 minutes.

Add vegetables, remaining teaspoon salt, and black pepper to tomato sauce and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very tender, about 1 hour. Cool, uncovered, and serve warm or at room temperature.

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Posted by Marilyn Renaker at October 5, 2010 11:01 AM
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