A Mexican Take on Ratatouille

Late-Summer Vegetable Stew with Ancho Chiles Photo © Kristin Donnelly
By Kristin Donnelly Posted August 27, 2014

This flavorful vegetarian stew will help you use up your late-summer vegetables.

These healthy recipes are all created to pair with wine (which has 120 to 150 calories for a 5-ounce glass)—all for 600 calories or fewer.

Ratatouille is one of the first dishes I learned to make. Though there are many debates about the right ways and wrong ways to prepare this Provençal dish, what stays the same is the use of late-summer vegetables. Instead of the usual sweet peppers, here I use dried anchos, which have a fruity, earthy and ever-so-slightly smoky, spicy flavor. To continue with the Mexican theme, I season the dish with cumin and oregano, and then serve it like a chili, with sour cream and salsa verde (store-bought is fine!).

This is one vegetarian dish you can pair with a full-bodied red wine. Just look for one that isn’t too tannic.

Late-Summer Vegetable Stew with Ancho Chiles
Total: 45 MIN
4 Servings

1 large tomato (about 12 ounces), halved
3 medium ancho chiles (about 1 1/4 ounces)
Boiling water
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
1 pound zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice
12 ounces eggplant, preferably Italian or Asian varieties, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup sour cream
Cilantro and jarred salsa verde, for serving

1. Using a box grater set in a bowl, carefully grate the cut sides of the tomato halves, stopping when you reach the skin. You should have about 1 cup of puree.

2. In a heatproof measuring cup, cover the ancho chiles with boiling water and let stand until softened, about 20 minutes. Stem and seed the chiles and transfer the flesh to a food processor or blender; add 1 cup of the soaking liquid and puree.

3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until very soft, about 10 minutes. Add the zucchini and eggplant and cook until they start to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the cumin and oregano and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomato and ancho purees and cook over moderate heat until the eggplant and zucchini are tender and the sauce is thickened like a chili, 10 to 15 minutes.

4. Transfer the stew to bowls, garnish with sour cream, salsa verde and cilantro leaves and serve.

Serve with Brown rice.

One serving 384 cal, 32 gm fat, 6 gm sat fat, 25 gm carb, 9 gm fiber, 6 gm protein.

Wine A juicy, fruit-forward Spanish Grenache, such as 2012 Borsao Campo de Borja.

Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and author of the forthcoming The Modern Potluck (Clarkson Potter, 2016). She is also the cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.

Related: 21 Healthy Summer Recipes
33 Grilled Vegetables
33 Ulitmate Summer Vegetable Recipes

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