"This is a snapshot of the flavors of southern France," says Alex Guarnaschelli, chef at Butter in New York City. She sears lamb steaks to serve alongside a silky ratatouille made with two time-saving ingredients: canned tomatoes and jarred piquillo peppers. Any leftover ratatouille is terrific with eggs for breakfast.
Slideshow: More Lamb Recipes
Recipe from Food & Wine Chefs' Easy Weeknight Dinners.
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 bay leaf
Freshly ground pepper
1 eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch dice
One 14-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes with their juices, crushed by hand
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Four 10-ounce lamb shoulder steaks, about 3/4 inch thick
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 jarred piquillo peppers, diced
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
How to Make It
In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion, garlic and bay leaf, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the eggplant and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices and the oregano and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer until the juices thicken, 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in another large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil until shimmering. Season the lamb shoulder steaks with salt and pepper and cook over high heat, turning once, until nicely browned, 6 to 8 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer the steaks to plates. Discard the fat from the skillet.
Set the skillet over low heat, add the vinegar and cook, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom, until nearly evaporated, about 30 seconds. Stir in 1/4 cup of the ratatouille, then return this mixture to the remaining ratatouille. Discard the bay leaf. Stir in the piquillo peppers and cheese and season with salt and pepper. Mound the ratatouille on the lamb steaks and serve.
The ratatouille can be prepared through Step 1 and refrigerated overnight.
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