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Recipe: Chunky Summer Vegetable Ratatouille

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Today's recipe is for a chunky summer vegetable ratatouille, served over long slices of whole grain crostini topped with goat cheese. Two or three fresh, ripe tomatoes can also be used in place of the canned tomatoes.

Ingredients
1 15-ounce can of unsalted, diced tomatoes. 2-3 fresh, ripe tomatoes
1 medium zucchini
1 medium yellow squash
1 large clove of garlic
1/2 medium-large onion
1/2 medium-large red pepper
1 small eggplant
Fresh chopped basil
Olive oil
Whole grain bread
Goat cheese

Procedure:
There is a bit of knife work involved. Rough chop the zucchini and yellow squash, mince the garlic clove, dice half of the onion and deseed and dice half of the red pepper. Get the onion going in a deep, heavy-bottomed pot on the stove top in a little olive oil.

The small eggplant will still need to be rough-chopped, but that should be done just before it is added to the stew so it does not have a chance to oxidize.

Add the minced garlic to the softened onions and add the squash, peppers and eggplant. Add a little more little more olive oil if needed and cook that along to soften. Stir that around a bit as the vegetables are cooking down.

While that's happening, slice the whole grain bread into long thin slices and chop a good handful of fresh basil leaves. Then, once the squash is tender, add the can of diced tomatoes and stir that in. Add the chopped basil and season it to taste.

Lastly, toast the bread, spread some goat cheese over the top of that and then serve the vegetable stew right on top.

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