This fresh and summer Cucumber Ratatouille gives all the summer vibes of a nice long evening with warm garden vegetables.
The ingredients in this ratatouille are fresh summer vegetables easily found in the garden or your local CSA. This dish was inspired by this recipe from The Kitchn, however, I wanted to add more cucumber and ditch the eggplant.
Cucumber instead of Eggplant Ratatouille
The cucumber is lighter and fresher than the typical eggplant found in many ratatouilles. You can use English or regular cucumber in this dish.
If you use regular, make sure to peel them to avoid the thick bitter peel. You can leave the thinner and more delicate peel of English cucumber on.
Garden Fresh Ingredients
The freshness of the ingredients really makes this dish. This is not the time to use end-of-life mealy tomatoes or nearly off cucumbers. Use fresh crips vegetables that will hold their texture and fresh herbs where possible.
I find that garden vegetables and organically grown local vegetables give the best flavor as well. Follow the clean fifteen when choosing how to buy organic the most economically.
The carrot tops are optional in this dish but I find it a great way to sneak them into a meal without making a pesto.
Making the Cucumber Ratatouille
You'll want to make sure all of your vegetables are diced in similar sized pieces. The onion and garlic should be minced to evenly distribute the flavor and not leave any one bite overwhelmingly spiced.
Brown the Zucchini
First you'll brown the zucchini and then remove it from the skillet. This is to brown the zucchini so it has the right texture and is not overcooked in the final dish.
Once golden brown on opposite sides, remove from a skillet and save for later.
Making the Ratatouille
The rest of the dish is just sequentially dicing and adding the ingredients one by one to the skillet.
Start with the diced yellow onion and then add the diced green onions and remaining olive oil. Reduce heat to medium and saute for 30 seconds.
Mince garlic and add to onions along with basil, bay leave, Italian seasoning, and salt. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Meanwhile, dice the tomatoes, carrot tops and parsley. Add them to the pan with wine and sautee another 2 minutes.
Dice the cucumber and add to the pan along with reserved zucchini. Simmer covered on medium-low for at least 20 minutes, ideally 60-90 minutes.
Remove bay leaf and ladle into servings.
Pairing the Ratatouille
This delectable summer dish pairs excellently with the summer solstice, red wine, al fresco dining, chive flowers, and beet green meatballs.
- Large skillet
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil divided
- 1 zucchini
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 1/2 cup green onions diced, just the white and pale green parts
- 3 cloves garlic large cloves
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp real salt
- 5 tomatoes on the vine
- 1/3 cup red wine pinot noir works well
- 1 1/2 cucumbers
- 3 tbsp parsley minced
- 2 tbsp carrot tops minced - optional
- chive blossoms garnish - optional
- Dice the zucchini and sautee in just over half the olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Sautee the zucchini until browned, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from pan and place zucchini in a bowl and set aside.
- Meanwhile, dice the yellow onion and then add to the pan with diced green onions and remaining olive oil. Reduce heat to medium and saute for 30 seconds.
- Mince garlic and add to onions along with basil, bay leave, Italian seasoning, and salt. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, dice the tomatoes, carrot tops and parsley. Add to pan with wine and sautee another 2 minutes.
- Dice the cucumber and add to the pan along with reserved zucchini. Simmer covered on medium-low for at least 20 minutes, ideally 60-90 minutes.
- Remove bay leaf and ladle into servings. Optionally garnish with chive blossoms
- If you use standard cucumbers, peel the skins and discard. If you use English cucumbers, you can leave the skins on and keep them in the dish. I prefer a mix of both types of cucumbers in this dish.
- These pair excellently with beet green meatballs!