I always end up with zucchini in abundance but generally by the time the tomatoes turn red the eggplants are waning. Last year I didn't get to can much ratatouille - I ended up canning more zucchini and tomatoes. So far this year I already have a case of quarts of ratatouille and I'm canning more today.
It is so useful during the winter as a sauce for pasta, a base for soup or an add-in for risotto. If I'm not feeling well the hubby can just go down and grab a jar and he has a meal ready to go. It's healthy and delicious and this is how I make it.
I start with my big 12 quart pot. I put about a quarter cup of olive oil in the bottom and I let it heat.
I take two large shallots (the onions aren't in yet) and four large garlic cloves and run them through my food processor and add them to the hot oil. I let them cook until they start to turn soft.
The next additions are a bit harder to measure as they are just a matter of what has come in from the garden but in today's batch (not what is in the pictures, they are from an earlier batch) I cut up 7 small to medium zucchini.
I always add them in first as they need the most cooking time. I add salt as I go.
Next come the eggplant - again, in today's batch it was 6. We grow the long, thin Japanese type.
Then the tomatoes. I am not getting a lot of them so I toss in what I have. We grow a number of different varieties and I use them all. Today I tossed in about 10 large tomatoes. Most of the liquid in the ratatouille comes from them.
I mix it all up in the pot and I add in whatever herbs I want to use. Today I put in some fresh marjoram and dried basil. Sometimes I leave it plain so I can add the flavorings when I open the jar. The batch in the photos is one of those un-flavored batches.
Then I add a split of red wine.
And some balsamic vinegar. Anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 a cup depending on how much is being made.
I let this cook just until it cooks through and the raw wine taste cooks out. I don't want the vegetables fully cooked as they will cook in the canner.
I prepare quart jars as suggested for pressure bath canning and I load my canner. This processes for 90 minutes. (I'm over 3,000 ft.)
I've got to go can today's batch. There will be more eggplant before the garden is done so it is going to be a great year for ratatouille in the basement. Mmmmm......