Archives for November 2012

Ratatouille Stuffed Peppers

Ratatouille Stuffed Peppers

Ratatouille Stuffed Peppers
Tess Hutchens
(Original recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray)
Yield: 6 servings


About ½ C EVOO and/or coconut oil

2 T butter

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 C grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

¼ C fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped

7 medium red and orange bell peppers (pick square-ish/rectangular shaped ones for better

plate presentation)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 firm, medium eggplant, peeled and cut into ½ inch dices

Olive oil spray or coconut oil

2 T fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped

1 small fresh red chile, finely chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1 medium zucchini, ½ inch dices

3 ripe plum or small vine tomatoes, chopped

2 C tomato sauce or marinara sauce (I used my homemade marinara)



Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Heat about ¼ C EVOO (I use coconut oil) in a small skillet with the butter.  When the butter foams, add the garlic and stir 1 minute.  Add the breadcrumbs and stir to soak in the oil and butter. Toast until lightly golden, then remove from the heat and cool.  Mix the cooled breadcrumbs with the cheese and parsley.

Trim the tops off 6 peppers and reserve, then scoop out the seeds.  Season the peppers on the inside with salt and pepper, invert and place on a baking sheet, tops alongside.  Seed and chop the remaining bell pepper and reserve.

Salt the eggplant and drain 15 – 30 minutes in a strainer, then rinse salt off and allow to drain.

Spray the peppers with cooking oil or rub with coconut oil and roast to char the peppers at the edges and tender-crisp doneness, 10 – 12 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool to handle.  Turn oven down to 400 degrees F.

Heat the remaining EVOO (I use coconut oil) in a large, deep skillet.  Add the reserved peppers, thyme, chile, eggplant and onions.  Cook the vegetables, partially covered and stirring occasionally.  After about 5 minutes, add the zucchini and then after about 5 more minutes add tomatoes, then 1 C of the tomato or marinara sauce.  Stir another minute or so and remove from the heat.

Combine the breadcrumbs with the vegetables and taste to check seasoning. Pour enough tomato or marinara sauce to cover the bottom of a greased casserole dish.  Stuff the peppers, overstuffing the cavity a bit and set the tops alongside.  Place the peppers into the dish as you fill them and dab each with the remaining tomato or marinara sauce.  Roast in the oven until the peppers are hot through, 30 – 35 minutes.

And you WOULD know that I sprinkle mine with Parmesan cheese right before serving.  This is an amazing meal for Meatless Monday.

November Chores for the Piedmont Gardener

November Chores for the Piedmont Gardener

November To-Do’s

  • Cover lettuce, chard, spinach, sorrel, chives, and parsley with floating row covers, before the first hard freeze.
  • Continue to plant trees and shrubs.
  • Set out new strawberries or move rooted runners early this month.
  • Sow poppy seeds now for flowers next May.
  • Gather leaves to add to the compost pile or to shred and use as winter mulch.
  • Pot up a clump of mint, let it freeze one time, then bring it indoors for snipping throughout the winter.
  • Feed leeks, then hill up soil around them to begin the blanching process.

Don’t live in the Piedmont?  Check here for the list of ‘To-Do’s’ for your area.  Organic Gardening’s website and magazine are invaluable to me.  If you are a gardener and have not visited their site, you really should:

You may also find this information helpful.  I plant, prune, transplant, etc. by the almanac.

November Dates:

  • Plant Root Crops – 12th, 28th
  • Transplant – 12th, 28th
  • Seed Beds – 12th, 13th, 14th
  • Prune to encourage growth – 12th
  • Plant above ground crops – 13th, 14th, 17th – 19th, 22nd – 24th, 27th & 28th
  • Harvest crops – 29th & 30th

Happy Gardening~


Best Buys for November

Best Buys for November

Consumer Reports indicates that November is the month of get the best buys on:

  • Baby Products
  • Bikes
  • Camcorders
  • Gas Grills
  • GPS Navigators
  • Toy
  • TVs

By the way, numerous retailers are offering layaway plans to try to offset the expense of getting everything at one time.  Look for that info in Tuesday’s Tips (to be posted tomorrow).

P.S. Has anyone else noticed that bikes have been on this list since September?  I would venture to say that a cyclist or bike shop owner had a hand in that! 😉