Melinda’s Ratatouille

Melinda’s Ratatouille

Milwaukee’s favorite gardener, Melinda Myers, claims “A cook I am not, but I love to grow the ingredients for my favorite meals. And when summer arrives and I can pick the herbs and veggies right from my garden, cooking becomes less of a chore. And the results taste much better! This is the dish I plan my garden around and am happy to share with family and friends.”


One way to get the family back to the table is to grow your own fresh herbs, vegetables and fruits for your family recipes. For this info and more visit Melinda’s website at


Melinda is a favorite show speaker, loved for her lighthearted, fresh approach to all things gardening. Be sure to catch her seminars at the show: “Garden-tainment” on Sunday, February 27 at 11:15 am in the Rainier Room, and her two Sprout Stage presentations just for the young and young-at-heart, “Grow Your Own Worms” on Saturday and Sunday at 10:00 am on the Sprout Stage.


1 medium eggplant cubed
3 medium zucchini sliced
2 medium onions sliced
1 medium sweet pepper diced
3 Tb olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 or more tomatoes, enough to fill, the 2 skillets – in quarters of eighths (I like a combo of Roma and whatever else is in season)
½ cup fresh parsley chopped
1 Tb fresh basil or 1 tsp dried basil leaves
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese


Sauté eggplant, zucchini, onions and peppers in oil and garlic in large skillet or saucepan until tender, or about 10 minutes. (I usually end up chopping and dicing enough to fill two large skillets.)

Add tomatoes, parsley and basil. Stir to blend and cook over medium heat to allow liquid to evaporate. The juicier the tomatoes the longer it takes. But the fresh-from-the garden flavor can’t be beat.

Place mixture in a 11 ¾ x 7 ½ x 1 ¾ baking dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese (it is also good without the cheese for those eliminating dairy from their diets). Cover with foil. Bake at 450° F for 30 minutes, or until heated thoroughly. (I often lift the foil after 30 minutes and continue to cook if the dish is still too liquidy.)

Serve as side dish or main entrée over rice or pasta. Serves 4 to 6

Adapted from recipe found in Woman’s Day many years ago.


Here’s wishing you joy with a bounty of edible gardening and healthy eating in the New Year! For more terrific recipes from our 2011 garden show speakers, just look for the listings on the ‘Fresh from the Garden’ menu. And to find out when they are all speaking, go to

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