Monday, July 14 is Bastille Day, the French national holiday that commemorates the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789 which marked the start of the French Revolution. One of my happy memories is when I was a student in Paris back in my early 20s and I had occasion to be there for the Bastille Day celebration. It was a wonderful day and night of festivities, with many revelers filling the streets with joyful celebration. I’ll never forget how glorious the Champs Elysses looked all lit up on that special night…was it the magic of Paris or the magic of being 20-something celebrating my own independence with friends in the city of lights?
Since I can’t get to Paris by Monday, we’ll just have to celebrate at home. While there are many wonderful dishes I can think to make, I decided to make Ratatouille since it is a wonderfully easy summer dish that goes well with grilled fish, chicken, or beef. It can also be served as an hors d’oeuvre on a toasted slice of crusty baguette or toasted whole grain pita. And, if you are trying to lose some weight, at 40 calories per 1/2 cup serving, Ratatouille can be included as part of a healthy eating plan to help you reach your weight loss goals. There are many variations of this classic dish, for example, many recipes add red or green bell peppers into the mix. You can also make it more savory or less by adding more garlic and other herbs — do you have a favorite variation?
(makes approximately 8 cups)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 spanish onion
1-2 garlic cloves
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley
1 Tbsp. fresh basil
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
pepper, to taste
Wash and chop all vegetables. Place olive oil, onion and garlic in large saucepan and cook on medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes. Add remaining ingredients along with 1/4 cup water.
Cover and cook on low-medium heat for 20-30 minutes until done.
Approximate Nutrition Information per 1/2 cup serving: 40 calories; 2 grams fat; 0 grams saturated fat; 0 grams transfat; 0 mg cholesterol; 80 mg sodium; 6 grams carbohydrate; 2 grams dietary fiber; 1 gram protein.