Summer gardens are teeming with squash, zucchini, yummy eggplants, and the tomatoes have finally arrived too. A stormy and rainy evening makes it feel ok to use the oven inside and ratatouille is the perfect meal to showcase all of these incredible summer veggies. Ratatouille typically uses zucchini, peppers, eggplant, tomato, onion, and garlic. I think it’s completely acceptable to use what you have on hand, I’ve replaced eggplant with mushrooms and zucchini with patty pan squash (it may not be traditional when done this way but it still tastes awesome).
Because I’m American I always think of our own Julia Child when it comes to French Cooking and her ratatouille recipe is near perfect. However, I cook mine in the oven because I can walk away and do other things while it takes care of itself and I like to add a few fresh herbs and extra garlic.
Lastly, if you aren’t making this as a side item (goes great with roast chicken) I love to throw some yummy pre-cooked sausage on top for the final quarter of cooking time to save dishes and turn this into a complete meal.
What you need:
1 lb. eggplant (I suggest small japanese eggplant)
1 lb. zucchini (or any squash, I used gold zucchini and green patty pan)
5-6 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 lb. (about 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced yellow onions)
1 pound tomatoes (whatever are ripe and on hand)
2 (about 1 cup) sliced green bell peppers (I like to use red, orange, yellow too)
4 cloves sliced garlic
3 tbsp fresh basil and parsley, plus more for garnish
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400. Meanwhile, chop all of the vegetables into about 1 inch pieces. You want them to be uniform in size. Toss with olive oil, herbs, garlic, and salt, and pepper. A large Pyrex casserole or dutch oven works well for this. Cook for about 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to ensure even cooking.