Ratatouille with freekeh and ricotta salata

Vegetarian, Soy Free

2 Servings, 650 Calories/Serving

35 – 45 Minutes

Featuring earthy eggplant, bell peppers, tomatoes, and toasted pine nuts, this vegetarian Provençal classic gets a makeover with smoky freekeh, which is roasted young wheat.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup freekeh
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 globe eggplant
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • Peeled fresh garlic
  • 2 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1½ ounces ricotta salata

Chef's Tip


Make it Leaner: Omit the ricotta salata and use half the pine nuts and you’ll shave off 80 calories, 7 grams of fat, and 200 mg of sodium from each serving. Just be sure to season as you go to bring out all the nuances of the vegetables.


Instructions

1

Cook the freekeh

In a small sauce pot, combine the freekeh and 2⅔ cups lightly salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the freekeh is tender and the water is absorbed, 18 to 20 minutes.
While the freekeh cooks, prepare the pine nuts and the eggplant.

2

Toast the pine nuts

In a dry large frying pan over medium-low heat, toast the pine nuts, stirring occasionally, until golden and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

3

Prep and cook the eggplant

  • Remove the stem from the eggplant and cut in half lengthwise. Cut each half into 1-inch-wide strips, then crosswise into 1-inch cubes.
In the same pan used for the pine nuts, warm 2 to 3 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the eggplant, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Do not clean the pan.
While the eggplant cooks and drains, prepare the remaining vegetables.

4

Prep and cook the remaining vegetables

  • Peel and coarsely chop the yellow onion.
  • Remove the stem, ribs, and seeds from the bell pepper; coarsely chop the bell pepper.
  • Finely chop, press, or grate enough garlic to measure 1 teaspoon.
  • Cut away the cores from the tomatoes; coarsely chop the tomatoes.
In the same pan used for the eggplant, warm 1 to 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes start to break down, 4 to 5 minutes. Add 1 cup water, bring to a boil, reduce to a vigorous simmer, and cook until thickened, 5 to 6 minutes.
When the ratatouille is almost done, prepare the herbs.

5

Chop the herbs; finish the ratatouille

  • Strip the parsley and basil leaves from the stems; coarsely chop the leaves.
To the pan with the tomato mixture, add the eggplant and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley, basil, and balsamic vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

6

Serve

Transfer the freekeh to individual bowls. Top with the ratatouille and pine nuts, crumble the ricotta salata over the bowls, and serve.

Nutrition per serving: Protein: 20g (40% DV), Fiber: 17g (68% DV), Total Fat: 31g (48% DV), Monounsaturated Fat: 17g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 4g (20% DV), Cholesterol: 5mg (2% DV), Sodium: 280mg (12% DV), Carbohydrates: 84g (28% DV), Total Sugars: 14g, Added Sugars: 0g (0% DV). Not a significant source of trans fat. Contains: tree nuts, milk, wheat.

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