Ratatouille stew, a hearty meal for late summer and early fall.
It is not a secret that I was reluctant to move to St. Louis. And for reasons that are good, bad and everything in between, I have never felt like a Midwesterner. The day my husband told me that we were leaving Philadelphia and moving to the Midwest for his job – I was devastated.
Due to the nature of my husband’s work in aviation – our lives up until this point have been transient. St. Louis was always meant as a temporary and transitional place. And one year turned into four years. Life here has not always been easy. At times very dark and devastating. But over the course of my time here, I’ve learned to call St. Louis home. And the people I’ve met are now my family.
I’ve learned a lot about the Midwest.
The culture here.
The people here.
They are kind.
They are humble.
They see the good in the world.
They want to see you succeed.
The Midwest has a slow and steady pace. Somedays too slow for my East Coast blood. But it has forced me to slow down. And learn more about myself and the world. Over the summer I turned thirty-five. I wrote some things down in a journal that day that I didn’t want to forget.
These are some things I’ve learned over the course of my lifetime and over the course of the four years I’ve lived in St. Louis. Things I want to remind myself when things get rough. Or when there is seemingly no end in sight.
In your lifetime there will be jobs and relationships that don’t value your worth. Leave them. Don’t look back. Shut off the energy flow. And fight fiercely for the ones that do.
Not everything will bring you joy. And sometimes, the things that hurt like hell cannot be avoided. Ride the wave. Hold on tight. Remind yourself that relief will come.
Everyone is living with their own unique set of challenges and adversities. Our hardships, and our celebrations, should not be compared.
If you’re a St. Louisan reading this – thank you! Your support for my work changed me. It grounded me. It gave me a different kind of platform to share my food in a real life tangible way. You have accepted me in ways I never could have imagined.
If you’re a Texan – hello! I am super excited to announce my husband got his dream job and we are moving to Dallas in October. Please tell me what I need to know about living in Texas, because I know nothing. I have two weeks till we leave, please send help. No really, I am also accepting help – I can pay in ratatouille stew.
If you’re not a St. Louisan – thank you! Thank you for reading and coming here for hearty and healthy recipes over the past six years. The good news for you is that none of my blogging and/or recipe sharing is changing. As soon as I get settled in Dallas, I will be back to my regular programming.
p.s. This ratatouille stew! A favorite dish of mine that will take you from late summer to early fall. Eggplants, tomatoes, zucchini, peppers and herbs are all still very abundant in our gardens and at our markets right now. This ratatouille stew will take you under thirty minutes make. And it will leave your soul and stomach satisfied.
p.s.s. One final note. The final meal of my Of All The Places I Call Home dinner series in St. Louis will be on September 27. It will be a super special, intimate experience with an eight course tasting menu that reflects all of the places I call home. A portion of the ticket sales will be donated to local nonprofit food organizations.
There are limited seats left – reserve your tickets here.
Ratatouille Stew with White Beans
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion diced small
- 4 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 cups eggplant diced small
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt plus more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper plus more to taste
- 1 1/2 cups tomatoes diced small
- 2 cups zucchini diced small
- 1 1/2 cup cooked white beans
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
- 1 cup fresh basil chopped
- 1 cup fresh parsley chopped
- Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese optional
- In a large sauce pan heat the olive oil and onion over low.
- Sweat the onion for 5 minutes.
- Then add in the garlic, and sweat for 1 minute more.
- Turn the heat up to medium and add in the lemon juice and stir.
- Next add in the eggplant, broth and 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Then add in the tomatoes, zucchini, white beans and oregano, and simmer for 5 more minutes. Add in the basil and parsley. Remove from the heat and stir until the herbs are bright green.
- Serve warm, and with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano on top if desired.