A recent issue of the Washington Post Food section contained an article on the French staple. A search for "ratatouille" on epicurious.com yields 15 hits, but the article points out, there is no limit to the variety of vegetables you can throw into the pot.
This recipe is also a good option for my vegetarian friends and as the article points out, is cheap and good for college kids or anyone looking to whip something up for not a lot of money or preparation time.
Have fun in the kitchen - but please wait for the weather to break? Please?
Roasted Vegetable Ratatouille
(The author says that overcooking the tomato sauce is better than undercooking it. The finished ratatouille keeps well in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 4 to 5 days. It can be served hot, warm or cold. 6 side-dish servings or 4 main-course servings)
- 1 medium zucchini or yellow squash, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch strips
- 1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into very thin strips (julienne)
- 1 small, skin-on eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 15 cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 2 large red bell peppers
- 1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 2 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1/3 cup capers or chopped kalamata olives
- 4 sprigs thyme leaves
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
In a large bowl, toss the zucchini or squash, fennel, eggplant and cherry tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of the oil, salt to taste and the black pepper. Spread on the baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 30 to 40 minutes, until softened and golden brown.
Meanwhile, char the peppers over a stovetop flame until they are black on all sides. Place in a bowl and cover the top with plastic wrap for 15 minutes. Peel and seed the peppers, then cut into 1/2-inch strips. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 7 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the diced tomatoes, the capers or olives and the thyme leaves, stirring to combine. Cook over medium-low heat for about 35 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the roasted vegetables and peppers, stirring gently to combine. Adjust the seasoning as necessary. Serve hot, warm or cold.