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Author Notes: The idea to combine these two dishes is a gift that keeps on giving. I make a very large batch because not only do I get several meals for a few days - but I freeze some to enjoy another time. I love to eat it like a bowl of stew garnished with lots of fresh herbs and a little shaved parmesan cheese, and because I make it with Middle Eastern spices, it’s the best side dish for serving alongside lamb Merguez sausages or any other lamb dishes. - Kukla
Serves 8 to 10
For the Ratatouille
- • A generous 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil + more for finishing
- • 1/2 teaspoons of each: Aleppo pepper, ground cumin, ground coriander, cinnamon
- • 2 medium eggplants, cut in 1/2- inch cubes
- • 3 zucchini or other squash, cut in half and then 1/2- inch slices
- • 1 of each red, orange and green bell peppers, cut into thin slices
- • 1 large onion, cut in half and sliced
- • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped, divided
- • 1 1/2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- • Salt and pepper to taste
- • 2 teaspoons sugar
- • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas (optional)
For the Tabbouleh
- • 1/2 cups quick cook bulgur
- • 1 cup water + 1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce
- • 1 bunch green onions, sliced finely
- • 1 bunch parsley, stems removed, chopped finely
- • 1 bunch fresh mint leaves, chopped finely
- • Zest and juice of 1large or 2 small lemons
- • 1 dash cayenne pepper
- • 2/3 cups walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
- Sprinkle the eggplants with salt and leave in a colander for 1 hour. Rinse and dry well the eggplant cubes.
- In a large 12- inches skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Pour about 1/8- inches thick layer of oil in the bottom. When warm, add half of the garlic and spices; cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes, being sure not to let the garlic burn.
- Sauté the eggplant and zucchini slices until golden brown; add the onion and pepper slices and cook over low heat until the onion is golden and the peppers are softened.
- To make the tomato sauce: Sauté the remaining half of the garlic in a medium sauce pan until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and sugar; simmer for about 15 minutes until reduced to a sauce consistency, but not too thick. Add the tomato sauce to the sautéed vegetables and spices, add the peas, if using, and mix everything very gently. Remove from heat.
- Combine bulgur, water and tamari soy sauce in a 2 quart sauce pan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, reduce to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand covered for 5 to 10 more minutes; then uncover and fluff with a fork and let cool to room temperature. When the bulgur is cooled, add the rest of the ingredients one at a time and mix thoroughly.
- Combine and gently toss Ratatouille and Tabbouleh in a large mixing bowl until everything is incorporated and well mixed. Taste for seasonings and add whatever is needed to your taste.
- Spoon the Ratabbouleh onto a serving dish; scatter the walnuts and some more chopped herbs on top. Serve warm or room temperature, adding a little more olive oil to each plate if desired and a sprinkle of lemon juice.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Most Impressive Dinner Party Side
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