Ratatouille is a Provencal specialty that's a classic way to use a garden’s summer bounty of eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini and bell pepper. In culinary school, I was taught to saute each vegetable separately, and then simmer them all together. That’s too much work. In this ratatouille recipe, everything is tossed together in one pan and roasted until the vegetables are tender and slightly caramelized. Serve the ratatouille hot, at room temperature or cold as a side dish, tossed with pasta, atop pizza or grilled bread, or even tucked into a quesadilla.
2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 large bell peppers, cut into 1/4-inch slices (use red, green, orange, yellow or a combination)
2 Japanese or 1 medium Italian eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 medium zucchini, cut into 3-x-1/4-inch slices
1 medium onion, thinly vertically sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar OR fresh lemon juice
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup thinly sliced basil (chiffonade)
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Combine first 6 ingredients in a roasting pan. Add thyme, oil, vinegar, salt and black pepper; toss with your hands to combine. Spread vegetable mixture into an even layer. Roast for 40 minutes or until vegetables are very tender, stirring after 20 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish, and garnish with basil.
Serves 6-8 (about 4 cups ratatouille)