Grilled Ratatouille & Chili
by Julie Robinson
Savor the summer harvest by cooking a little extra on the grill tonight, and you’ll be ready for the cool weather with chili in the freezer. We have adapted Georgia Munsell’s recipe, Cornbread-Crusted Black Bean Vegetable Chili, from the Brattleboro Food Co-op Cookbook. Enjoy!
1 Japanese eggplant, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 onion, ½-inch dice – half reserved for use in chili
1 zucchini, ½ inch dice
1 summer squash, ½ inch dice
6 plum tomatoes, seeded, cut into 1-inch cubes; 4 for
ratatouille, 2 reserved for use in chili
2 peppers, (1 red and 1 yellow), seeded, ½-inch pieces
2 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
¼ cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper or to taste
¼ cup shaved Parmesan cheese,
2 ears corn, leaves intact, but silks removed
Preheat the grill to high.
Soak the corn in water while preparing the vegetables.
Combine all the cut vegetables, including parsley, in a bowl. Mix together the olive oil, salt, and pepper, add to the vegetables, and toss together.
Using a slotted grilling pan, cook the vegetables on the grill until tender but still firm, approximately 15 minutes. Alongside the pan, cook the corn, directly on the grill. Turning every few minutes. Remove everything from the grill. Reserve half of the vegetables and all of the corn for the chili. Serve the Ratatouille topped with Parmesan and with baguette on the side.
Shuck and remove corn kernels from cobs, approx. 2 cups,
or 1 package of fresh frozen corn
2 cups cooked black beans or 1 can, rinsed
1 ½ cup vegetable broth
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely diced
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
Combine the reserved grilled ratatouille vegetables and the reserved diced tomatoes and onions, with the rest of the ingredients for the chili. Simmer for 15 minutes or until tomatoes start to break down. At this point, you can either serve the chili or freeze it in greased individual dishes or a 9”x13” baking dish for use later. A side of cornbread is a nice addition!
Total servings: 10. Ratatouille serves 4, Chili serves 6
Veggie of the Month: Corn
by Chris Ellis, Staff Nutritionist
Summer is not complete without sinking your teeth into fresh juicy tender sweet corn on the cob!! It is such an integral part of American culture! You can’t eat it gracefully, though, and everyone uses their fingers. Corn juice in the face from someone else’s cob can frequently happen and that is excusable! It’s just part of the corn-on-the-cob eating experience. Corn or Zea mays is a descendant of a wild grass called teosinte that was derived from Mexico. Corn these days is much taller than the original corn grown thousands of years ago and there are many more varieties, with the ultimate goal of growing the sweetest corn. The amount of corn on the cob eaten in this country surpasses all other varieties of vegetables, though there is much more field corn grown for animal food than sweet corn. The United States produces more corn than any country in the world.
Corn has a lot to offer nutritionally. Native Americans felt that corn was a main source for sustaining all life, and for the first American settlers that proved to be true since they relied on it to survive their first winter in New England. Yellow and white varieties of corn are super sources of fiber. Corn also provides some protein, B vitamins, potassium, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. An extra bonus is the antioxidant lutein which is linked to maintaining excellent eye health. Eat up the yummy fresh local corn while it is around. The best tasty treat is freshly steamed or grilled corn!! It can be frozen easily too, so that you can enjoy it on a cold winter night.