Slow-Cooked “Melted” Eggplant and Tomatoes

Lia used to make an eggplant and tomato dish like this in the oven—like a two-note ratatouille—until she was in Paris with a bowlful of gorgeous produce and no oven. But she had a Dutch oven, so she made it on the stovetop over a long, slow heat, threw in a generous handful of basil at the end, and has never looked back. Ras al hanout (“head of the shop” in Arabic) is a complex North African spice blend that includes a dozen or more spices (typically cardamom, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, hot paprika, to name just a few). This chunky, luscious sauce is delicious spooned over grilled chicken or fish, tossed with hot pasta, and stirred into whole grains. This also freezes beautifully for a lovely reminder of summer when the weather turns chilly.


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, ext
  • 2 pounds Italian globe eggplants, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ras al hanout (or ground cumin)
  • 3 pounds tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup fresh basil, whole leaves


  • Heat olive oil over medium-high heat and add eggplant, stirring to coat. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until eggplant just starts to color. Add garlic and ras al hanout, and cook 30 seconds, or until just fragrant. Stir in tomatoes, salt and pepper, and lower heat to medium-low. Simmer, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until everything has “melted” into a sort of chunky jam-like consistency. Season with additional salt and pepper, if you like, and stir in basil leaves.
  • Refrigerate up to 4 days, or freeze up to 2 months.
Servings: 8
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How to Plan, Prep, and Cook Easy Weeknight Meals (without spending hours in the kitchen)

3 steps to making simple, nourishing meals possible night after night so you spend less, enjoy more, and have time and energy to live a richer, more delicious life.

Hey there ... I'm Lia Huber

Hey there ... I'm Lia Huber

My mission is to inspire and equip you to live a richer life through real food by becoming a more competent, confident home cook.

I’m the author of Nourished: A Memoir of Food, Faith, and Enduring Love, founder and CEO of Nourish Evolution, and the creator of Cook the Seasons, Home Cooking School, and the Real Food Reset, and I empower intentional women to cook in a way that brings them (and their families) joy, health, and ease.

Making the shift from processed food to real food doesn’t happen overnight. It’s an evolution that occurs over time, with effort, intention, and belief. And it will change the course of your life. Are you ready to take the first step? I’m so glad you’re here … and I’m honored to be with you on the journey to becoming nourished!


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