What meal can you make with 1 onion, 1 1/2 bell pepper, celery, 1 eggplant, 4-5 squash or zucchini? And have your family scrape the pot clean? It’s ratatouille. My family of 7 polished off five quarts of this veggie stew. The next week, six of us ate four quarts. This must be a regular in our house from now on.

The recipe was inspired by this book, Alabama’s Historic Restaurants and their Recipes by Gay N Martin. I used the Station House Grille’s Ratatouille recipe and adapted it to what I have on hand. Here is my version

Honey Love Farm’s Ratatouille

1/4 cup olive oil

2 cups chopped ham (shank ham baked with honey is what I prefer)

1 onion, chopped

1/2 of three colored (red, orange, and yellow) bell peppers, chopped

1 cup chopped celery

1 1/2 tsp salt or to taste

1 tsp red pepper flakes

3/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground

1 eggplant, cubed

4-5 zucchini and squash, sliced or cubed

6 medium tomatoes chopped

1 Tbls garlic, minced

1 tsp Italian seasoning

Heat oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add ham and saute for about 2 min. Add onions, bell peppers, celery, salt, red pepper flakes and black pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes, or until vegetables are slightly wilted. Add eggplant and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until slightly tender. Add squash, tomatoes, garlic and Italian seasoning. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-12 minutes or until mixture is a little soupy. I cook a little longer for softer veggies but can be left somewhat crunchy.

We love the movie Ratatouille so this was fun and delicious. I expected leftovers but everyone kept going back to the pot til it was empty. Hope your family enjoys it as much as ours.