Welcome back! While it might be hard to believe, summer is just around the corner. That means longer days, warmer temperatures, and more opportunities to spend time outdoors (at a safe distance from others, of course!) This month we are sharing a recipe that features delicious summer vegetables roasted in tomato sauce and topped with fresh eggs and basil pesto. This dish feels almost decadent, but is surprisingly light. A perfect meal to start your day right!
- 1 Japanese eggplant, sliced 1/8”
- 1 Zucchini, sliced 1/8”
- 1 Yellow squash, sliced 1/8”
- 2 C Italian-style tomato sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 8 Pieces of sourdough toast
- Sprinkle of parmesan cheese
- 2 Poached eggs per person
- 1 C Basil pesto
- Toss the sliced vegetables in half of the tomato sauce and season with salt and pepper. Pour ½ cup of sauce in bottom of pie dish. Layer the vegetables in pie dish so they are fanned out. Pour remaining sauce over the top of the vegetables.
- Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes, then uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Hold in warming drawer.
- Cut the bread in half on bias, and toast. Spoon ratatouille on top of toast and sprinkle with a little parmesan cheese. Top with poached eggs, garnish with pesto drizzle.
This recipe is very versatile. The original recipe calls for the ratatouille to be served atop sourdough bread, but you can also try it over barley, couscous, or creamy polenta. It can be made vegan by simply skipping the eggs and parmesan. It can also be served as a side dish to a main course. If you can’t source all of the vegetables the recipe calls for, try using Italian eggplant or substituting in sweet bell peppers. To make the dish even lighter and more summery, substitute fresh diced tomatoes for the tomato sauce and thinly chiffonaded fresh basil for the pesto. Our recipe serves 8, but even if you are cooking for fewer people you can make the full recipe and freeze the extra for later.
With summer right around the corner, this is the perfect time of year to consider planting a small home garden. Growing your own herbs and vegetables is a great way to supplement the food you are buying at the grocery store, and it can be a relaxing way to spend time outside after too many weeks of being under quarantine. This month’s recipe features vegetables – eggplant, zucchini, and yellow squash – that are all relatively easy to grow in a home garden, reach maturity quickly, and don’t take up too much space if you let them drape over upright cages. If you are feeling ambitious, you can also grow your own tomatoes and basil and then use them in all kinds of summer recipes. If you are having trouble sourcing seeds locally, you can find seeds to start your garden online. Hudson Valley Seed Co. and Johnny’s Selected Seeds are two great companies that ship around the country.
That said, we know that not everyone has access to planting space, whether you live in an urban area, condo, or apartment building. Even if you can’t grow your own, that doesn’t mean you can’t access fresh, local produce. Small farms need our support right now, and there are ways to connect with them while still maintaining social distancing. The USDA has a searchable nationwide database of farmers markets and CSAs, which you can browse to try to find local options. Many farmers markets are adopting online sales models where you can pre-order from your home and then pick up your pre-packed box of produce without having to come into contact with anyone. In the Kona area, the Hawaii Food Basket, Keauhou Farmers Market, and Adaptations are all offering boxes of fresh, locally-grown produce.
We hope you enjoy this month’s recipe! Stay safe, and stay tuned for more fresh, healthy recipes from the kitchen of the Holualoa Inn.