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Thai-Flavored Ratatouille: Cooking Class Favorite

Posted Jun 30 2009 12:00am
I signed up for another bunch of cooking classes at the community college including three more vegetarian cooking classes from my favorite instructor-chef, Alyssa Moreau. This recipe for Thai-Flavored Ratatouille is from her Vegetarian Local Style class and was my favorite out of the four dishes we made. It takes some of the basic ratatouille ingredients like eggplant, zucchini, onion, and bell pepper and puts them in a delectable Thai-inspired sauce.

Thai-Flavored Ratatouille
Chef Alyssa Moreau
(Serves 3-4)

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup onion, sliced
1 Japanese eggplant, sliced on the diagonal
1 cup zucchini, sliced in half-moons
1 red bell pepper, sliced
2 tsp garlic minced
Sauce--recipe below
salt / pepper to taste
1 Tbsp cilantro, chopped

Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat, add onion and saute a few minutes until they begin to soften. Add in the rest of the vegetables, (through the garlic), and cook until crisp-tender. Add in the sauce, cover and simmer about 5 minutes, then add salt and pepper to taste and garnish with cilantro.  Serve over rice.

Alyssa notes that she likes to steam her eggplant first to partially cook it. Also tofu or cooked sweet potato or yam are nice additions.

For Sauce:
1 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup almond butter
1-2 Tbsp shoyu (soy sauce)
1 Tbsp agave
juice of half a lime
1 kaffir lime leaf
1 lemongrass stem (peeled and minced)
1/8 tsp chili flakes
2 Tbsp cilantro

Blend all together and adjust flavors to taste.

Notes/Results: Delicious! The sauce is incredible; thick, creamy and slightly nutty with the almond butter. It has just a hint of spice but you could add more chili flakes or chili paste for more of a kick. I served it on top of a brown rice pilaf mix with sliced almonds on top and wished I had more; it was so good. If you aren't feeling the veggie vibe, adding some chicken or shrimp would be good too. This simple, flavorful dish is a keeper for sure.

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