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Zucchini, eggplant, onions and bell peppers are in the summer spotlight at the farmers’ market. With so many of these vegetables available, we are always looking for new ways to use them.
The following recipe adapts the traditional ratatouille, and instead of tomatoes includes a delicious marinated flank steak. It’s a pleasant shift from the usual salad or plate of steamed broccoli to go with your dinnertime filet of salmon or other meat. The zucchini and eggplant comes out of the skillet slightly wilted but chunky, its flavors and herbs full of the marinade and juices from the beef.
To make this simple Primal recipe you’ll need:
6-12 oz. organic farm-raised flank steak, sliced as desired (I cut it into 2-inch bite-sized pieces)
1 tablespoon wheat-free tamari sauce
½ teaspoon cumin
Extra virgin olive oil
1 large fresh eggplant, cut across into ¾ inch slices
Fresh zucchini, ends trimmed, cut into half moons
½ white onion, thinly sliced
1 large purple bell pepper
1 large red bell pepper
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
Preheat oven to about 400 F. Spray a baking sheet with oil.
In a small bowl, mix cumin with wheat-free tamari. Slice steak into 1-2 inch cubes and toss into bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside about 30 minutes.
Brush each side of the eggplant slices with olive oil and place them on the baking sheet. Bake each side of the eggplant for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Keep separate.
While eggplant bakes, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a skillet or Dutch oven. Add onion and thyme leaves, cooking for about 3 minutes, or until onion is shiny and no longer firm. Add zucchini and cook until fork pushes through easily, about 10 minutes. Lower heat and add bay leaf, tomatoes, peppers and garlic, giving it all a nice stir. Cover and simmer, about 10 minutes.
Slice the eggplant pieces in half. Lightly sprinkle with salt and add to the skillet vegetable mixture, cooking for an additional 20 minutes, allowing all flavors to blend.
Near the end of the 20 minutes, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat in a small skillet. Add steak and cook until just brown but still pink in the middle. Transfer steak in with the vegetables, turning the heat up again to medium.
Cook covered for 4-5 minutes maximum, until steak is cooked through. Serve warm with a glass of good red wine.