Monday, May 16, 2011

Vegetarian: Clarissa's Vegetable Ragout

Recently, I felt a craving for a good, colorful vegetable ragout. However, a long Internet search didn't result in a single recipe that didn't look boring or monochromatic and didn't include either meat or canned vegetables. So I had to invent my own recipe. Some of the ingredients of this vegetarian ragout were things that I'd never tried before, like eggplants. (Yes, I'd never eaten eggplant in any form in my life.) I really loved the result and decided to share it with my readers.

Here is what my Vegetable Ragout ended looking like:

I'm folding the detailed description of how to make it under the jump break to spare those who aren't interested the trouble of scrolling through endless photos of diced vegetables.

These are the main ingredients I chose for my ragout but you can, of course, change any of them. I selected three kinds of baby potatoes (yellow, red and black) because it's very important to have a colorful ragout, juicy heirloom tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, baby turnips, baby eggplant, young carrots, garlic, ginger, and a bunch of cilantro.

Peel several cloves of garlic and crush them. Heat some olive oil in a large pan and place the garlic in the oil. In the meanwhile, cut your baby potatoes in half and place them in the pan, too.

Every step of this recipe looks colorful
and delicious. And it smells fantastic, too
Dice the turnips and the young carrots making sure that the chunks are not too small. If you cut them too small, they might become mushy, which is something we are trying to avoid. Vegetables in a ragout should be cooked but still preserve some firmness. Otherwise, we can just make a puree and be done with it. Then, add a bay leaf and some coriander seeds, if you like them. Dice ginger in very small cubes and add them to the pan.

The white chunks are pieces of baby turnip
Cut baby eggplant and add it to the pan. You don't have to spread it around the way I did, of course. I just did it to make sure the photo is pretty, that's all. During this entire time, the pan has been on medium-high.

In the same manner, cut the zucchini and the squash and throw them into the pan. Now it's time to add herbs and spices (the choice is really up to you) and start making the sauce. Put 1 tablespoon of coarse-grained Dijon mustard and 1 tablespoon of tomato paste into the pan. Mix everything up. Add as much or as little salt as you want. (I'm trying to avoid salt altogether, so I added none and the ragout still tasted heavenly.) This is how your ragout will look after you complete this step:

Dissolve a tablespoon of flour in a cup of cold water and add the mix to the ragout. This will thicken the sauce. Close the pan with a tight-fitting lid and let the ragout simmer until the vegetables are almost ready. Then, dice the tomatoes and add them to the ragout. Also, add fresh cilantro. This is how the ragout will look at this point:

Mix everything up, close the lid, and leave the ragout on slow for another 10 minutes. And here we have it:


Anonymous said...

This is what I have decided will be my summer food. That and salades composees, and that is it.

Clarissa said...

I can't function if I don't eat a salad each day. maybe I should start posting my salads here because I've learned to become very inventive with them.

Pagan Topologist said...

Sounds delicious, although eggplant is one of a very few foods that just does not agree with my stomach. My stomach feels full and bloated for six or more hours if I eat even a little of it.

liese4 said...

That looks delish! You've never had eggplant?! You need to try it fried. Slice it very thin, coat with an egg/flour (or egg/breadcrumbs)mix and fry in oil. MMMMMMMM. I like using olive oil.

Shedding Khawatir said...

Now that you've entered the wonderful world of eggplant (one of my favorite vegetables) there is so much more that awaits, especially in summer when you can get fresh tomatoes, as eggplant and tomato are an amazing combination. Eggplant bakes, grilled eggplant, stuffed eggplant, so many tasty possibilities!

Anonymous said...

PT, I think you could make an eggplant-less version. Eggplant doesn't really agree with me either, but I eat it anyway sometimes.

Other keywords to search under for recipes might be ratatouille and pisto.