Summer vegetable ratatouille
Posted by Jeanne on August 25, 2010
I’ve been trying to get Curt to grow eggplant for ages. He says he doesn’t like eggplant, until every summer we buy some at the farmer’s market and then he suddenly remembers that he likes it.
Maybe next summer.
1.5 lb. eggplant, peeled in stripes and cut into half-moon shapes about 0.5 inch thick
1 lb. zucchini, sliced
1 medium-sized onion, finely diced
1 bell pepper, chopped
4 – 6 cloves garlic, minced
5 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
Salt & pepper
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
Fresh basil chiffonade for serving (optional but really, do this if you can because it’s so, so good and it makes everything smell like basil)
Preheat oven to 350F (I know, it’s awfully hot to turn the oven on. Trust me here.). Place your eggplant slices on a sheet pan in a single layer and brush or spray with olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes, remove and flip over, and bake for another 20 minutes until they are soft and lightly browned.
Put about 1 TB olive oil in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven with a lid over medium to medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper, salt lightly, and cook gently until soft but not browned, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 2 to 3 minutes.
Add zucchini, tomatoes, thyme, and bay. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and cook until the zucchini are just softening and the tomatoes have begun to break down.
Add eggplant and stir to combine. Bring back to a simmer and continue to cook about 20 minutes, or until everything is very soft.
When it’s ready to eat, remove the bay leave and season with more salt & pepper. Top with the basil if using.
I like to serve this warm over mashed potatoes or soft polenta. It’s also delicious the next day, so don’t worry that it makes a ton because the leftovers are really, really good.
I should have taken a picture of the final dish, but really – just imagine the above photo. But in a bowl and not a pan.