9.01.2010

Slow Cooker Summer Ratatouille with Parmesan Polenta


The end of summer is turning out to be just as hot as was the beginning of summer. With temperatures creeping back up into the 90s, I decided a slow cooker meal was in order. This time, I went with a vegetarian option - Slow Cooker Summer Ratatouille with Parmesan Polenta. I knew this dinner would be hard to sell to my kids; therefore, The Husband and I enjoyed our veggie-filled dinner while the kids fended for themselves.

I was a little skeptical that an entree consisting mainly of of eggplant, zucchini, and tomatoes would turn to mush after spending 5 hours in my slow cooker. To my surprise, the vegetables were cooked just right and still held their shape after an afternoon of cooking. The garlic and herbs de Provence (a spice mix of savory, fennel, thyme, basil, and tarragon) added just the right kick. Nestled in creamy polenta, the ratatouille was a healthy and filling dinner.

After the success of Slow Cooker Summer Ratatouille with Parmesan Polenta, I see more vegetarian entrees in my slow cooker future.


Slow Cooker Summer Ratatouille with Parmesan Polenta

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Note -- I used a quick cooking polenta which only takes 5 minutes to prepare. Therefore, I made only 2 portions when I made this for dinner. And I used milk instead of water to make it have a richer taste.

serves 6

4 cups eggplant, large dice
3 cups zucchini and yellow squash, large dice
2 cups tomatoes, large dice
1 can (8-ounce) tomato sauce
1 cup red pepper, large dice
1 cup onion, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained
2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
extra Parmesan cheese for serving

for the polenta (for 2 servings)--
2 cups 1% milk
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup polenta
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

In a slow cooker, combine eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, tomato, tomato sauce, red pepper, onion, salt, pepper, garlic, and herbs de Provence.

Cover and cook on low heat setting for 4 1/2 to 5 hours or on high heat setting for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. About 10 minutes prior to serving, stir in the cannellini beans and basil.

Meanwhile, for the polenta, bring the milk to a boil, add the salt, and pour the polenta into the pot in a steady stream, while stirring. Cook, stirring continuously, for 5 minutes or until the mixture comes together but is still soft. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and parmesan cheese.

To serve, spoon polenta into a shallow bowl and top with the ratatouille. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese.

Announcement!! The winner of the second $100 Visa giftcard Lean Meat Match-Up swag bag is ......... Natalie!!!!

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4 comments:

Joanne said...

I love ratatouille but don't love having the stove or oven on for many hours! This looks like the perfect solution. Love the pairing with polenta...sounds perfect.

teresa said...

i've always wanted to try this! i love the polenta!

bellini valli said...

This is the perfect way to hughlight those summer veggies!!

Natalie said...

Am I the Natalie that won? Or another Natalie?! I don't want to get my hopes up :)

(email: natalie.mclaury@gmail.com)