If you plan to cook it within 3 months there is no need to blanche veggies before freezing - yay!
Of course you can also skip the freezer and make a lovely pot of Ratatouille today.
Gardener or not, we've all been there. Too many summer veggies to use up before they spoil. One day, when faced with a pile of tomatoes, peppers and eggplant I had an inspiration - why not cut up the veggies and freeze them together to cook later in my slow cooker? Ratatouille Meal Kits were born.
Yield: 2 quarts, about 6-8 servings
1 medium eggplant, cut in 1-inch pieces
4 large tomatoes (l lb), cut in 1 ½-inch pieces
2 medium zucchini or summer squash (l lb), cut in1-inch pieces
3 bell peppers, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 large onion, peeled and diced
4-6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
¼ cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine, optional
1-2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon sea salt
ASSEMBLE A MEAL KIT:
Label your bag before filling.
Prepare the veggies and add to 1 gallon-size Ziploc freezer bag in the order they are listed.
Add tomato paste, olive oil, wine, dried basil and salt to bag.
Seal the bag, squeezing as much air out as you can. Flatten the bag to an even thickness. Place on a cookie sheet to help it freeze flat. Freeze up to 3 months.
COOKING DAY DIRECTIONS:
Thaw bag overnight in fridge or float in warm water for 1 hour. Pour contents of bag into 5-6-quart slow cooker and cook 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low. If you want to reduce the amount of liquid in the Ratatouille, remove the lid for the last 30 minutes of cooking time.
Taste and add additional salt if desired. Serve as is in bowls or over rice or pasta. Top with grated Parmesan or mozzarella for extra flavor. You can add red pepper flakes or hot sauce for zing.