On a regular basis, Nutrition Consults, will be featuring a healthy recipe created by area Chef Karl Ratz. Karl is presently the head chef at Caring, Inc.. He has owned and operated quite a few restaurants and has a passion for creating sumptuous meals. See below for more details on Karl’s background.
This weeks’s recipe: RATATOUILLE
Chef Karl says this time of year is perfect for “from the farm to the table” cooking. Every ingredient in this dish except for the mushrooms and olives can be bought fresh from local farm stands such as Karl’s favorite: REEDS FARM MARKET on Spruce Avenue in Egg Harbor Township, N.J.
RATATOUILLE RECIPE by Chef Karl
INGREDIENTS: 1 large eggplant cubed, 2 onions diced, 3 garlic cloves minced, 2 red bell peppers largely diced, 2 zucchini largely diced, 3 large tomatoes diced, 1 pint mushrooms sliced, 15 black olive. Sea salt (optional, black pepper, thyme, basil, parsley, olive oil.
DIRECTIONS: In a Dutch oven (or large pot), heat approximately 3 tablespoons of olive oil, cook onions and peppers until begin to soften, add garlic and cook until begin to brown. Add mushrooms, zucchini and eggplant. Cook approximately 5 more minutes than add tomatoes, sea salt, pepper and thyme and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer, occasionally stirring for 1 hour. (1/2 hour uncovered, 1 hour covered). When done sauce should be thick and rich. Add fresh basil, parsley, olives and serve. Top with Parmesan cheese (optional).
Ratatouille can be served as a side vegetable or as a main course vegan style (add sautéed or lightly pan-fried tofu and skip the parmesan cheese), or non-vegan style with grilled chicken or shrimp. Another option is over whole wheat pasta, brown rice or polenta. Chef Karl enjoy’s it with cheese ravioli and recommends preparing a double or triple batch since it freezes beautifully!
If you try the Ratatouille recipe, we would appreciate it if you would share your feedback. We would love to hear from you. If you are seeking a particular recipe, let us know and we will see what Chef Karl can come up with.
CHEF KARL RATZ has been working in the food & beverage business since attending the Philadelphia Restaurant School in 1978. He has helped open 7 new restaurants over the years including 4 of his own. He has worked in every position from Bartender to Chef, but found his home in the kitchen. Karl sold his share of his latest venture “Red Sky Cafe” in 2006, became a certified Dietary Manager and has run the Caring, Inc. kitchen for 8 years. Karl is very involved in changing the way people approach their eating habits and has embraced buying and eating local products.