What is Ratatouille?
Ratatouille with yellow squash is a take on the hearty, summertime French vegetable stew. This dish has yellow squash, red peppers, onions, tomatoes and assorted veggies. The vegetables are sautéed in oil and then simmered until tender. It has a chunky, soft texture and a savory, slightly tangy flavor. Ratatouille can be served as a light main course.
...Eggplant is a vegetable in the nightshade family that was introduced to the Mediterranean region by Arabs in the early Middle Ages. The fruits are usually long and bulbous, with a dark purple skin, although there are varieties with different colors such as white or pink, or with a round shape. Eggplant is usually served cooked, either by roasting, grilling, frying, or steaming. When cooked, it has a soft, creamy texture and a mild taste that easily absorbs the flavor of the ingredients that it is cooked with.
...The onion is a bulb vegetable, meaning its bulb and not its leaves are eaten. Onions come in many varieties, including white, yellow and red. Shallots are small and mild onions. Vidalias are sweet, while red onions are strong and sharp. The onion is usually round and has a thin dry skin around its juicy layers. This skin depends in the color of the onion, as does the flesh. The flesh, or body of the onion is made of multiple round layers, that get smaller towards the center. The flavor of onions are sharp and sweet when raw, with an astringent taste. When cooked, these flavors mellow and the sweetness emerges. Onion are a very common flavoring and ingredient for many savory dishes.
...Yellow squash is a vegetable in the cucurbit family that is also known as summer squash. Long and narrow in shape, it has a thin, edible skin and the creamy white flash has a mild, slightly sweet and nutty flavor. Yellow squash can be prepared by roasting, frying, grilling or sautéing, or added to casseroles and stews.
...Zucchini is a member of the squash family. Most varieties are long and thin with a dark green or striped skin. The flesh is creamy white with edible seeds when immature. When raw, zucchini is crisp and crunchy with a mild flavor. When cooked, zucchini becomes soft and absorbs the flavors of the seasonings that it is cooked with.
...Vegetable oil is obtained by extracting oil from seeds. Types of vegetable oil include canola, sunflower, corn, and safflower. Light and with a neutral taste, vegetable oils are used to fry foods, or can be used to lightly coat meats and vegetables before roasting. Vegetable oils are also used as ingredients in salad dressings and sauces.
...The bell pepper is a vegetable by culinary measures, but botanically it is a fruit. Bell peppers grow in warm to hot climates and are somewhat bell shaped, hence the name. They are large, with wide ridges and smooth, shiny, thin skin. The flesh of the bell pepper is thin, crunchy and a bit juicy. They four main colors of bell peppers are red, green, orange and yellow, some are purple. The flavor is sweet, vegetal and mild. The inside has seeds that should be remove before consuming the flesh of the pepper. These peppers are used in dishes, both raw and cooked.
...There are a number of varieties of green pepper, including bell, anaheim, jalapeno and more. Often green pepper refers to the bell pepper, a sweet and mild pepper with a large bell shaped body. They are large, with wide ridges and smooth, shiny skin. The flesh of the bell pepper is thin, crunchy and a bit juicy. The flavor is mild, sweet and vegetal. Green peppers, can be eaten raw or cooked, though if spicy, it is helpful to cook it to reduce the heat level.
...Tomato paste is a made by cooking tomatoes down, straining them and then continuing to let them cook until they have been reduced to a thick, dark red paste. This paste is tart and sweet with very little moisture due to the reduction of juices which creates an intensified and rich tomato flavor. Tomato paste is used in sauces and many Italian dishes.
...Garlic is used in cuisines around the world and is extremely popular for its depth of flavor. The garlic bulb forms underneath the soil and is harvested once it reaches maturity. The bulb typically has thin, dry, white and flaky skin, surrounding the individual cloves. Often there are 10-12 cloves to a bulb/head of garlic. The cloves are cream colored with a strong smell and flavor that is spicy and sharp. Garlic takes on a nutty flavor in addition, when cooked. It is used in countless dishes, sauces, breads and more.
...Salt is a mineral composed mostly of sodium chloride. It is the main flavoring used in food and is naturally occurring in certain foods, such as cheese, beets, meat and celery, plus many others. Salt is white and has finer granules than sugar. Many commercial salts include iodide, while others exclude it. Most salts are white, while some are naturally pale pink with minerals. Salt brings out the flavor of something and can create a tangy mouthfeel, if used in excess.
...The peppercorn plant grows in tropical climate and produces tiny black fruit. The fruit is dried and become hard. At this point it is ground into a textured powder comprised of black and grey dots. It has a flavor that is spicy, pungent and sharp. Pepper is an extremely popular spice, especially in Western cuisines and lends a gentle heat to dishes. There are different varieties of black pepper and the flavor changes subtly because of this.
...Basil is a leafy and aromatic herb that grows in warm climates. There are over one hundred varieties, though the most common Genovese variety of basil produces thin green leaves, in a tapered oval shape. The leaves taste bright, peppery and almost minty; the smell is the same. Basil lends a spicy sweet and herbal flavor to any dish.
...Parsley is an aromatic herb with slender green stalks and sturdy, small green leaves. There are two common types of parsley, curly parsley and Italian flat leaf parsley. Italian parsley has a more robust flavor than curly parsley. Though each type tastes green, spicy and vegetal, with a hint of bitterness. Parsley is used as and herb to flavor dishes and as a garnish.
...Thyme is an herb used in various cuisines for its gently sharp and cool pungency. A minty edge is present in its flavor. It grows on thin stalks and has very small tapered green leaves with a hint of white at the edges. The herb is often dried and takes on a muted green color. It goes well in soups and with meats, grains and vegetables.