As an entree or side dish, this Ratatouille recipe makes quicker work of the prep with do-ahead tips and using a rough cut. Ratatouille is an ideal way to use the last of those random, end-of-season garden vegetables combined into one dish. We used organic vegetables from a local Heirloom Garden farm, but store bought do just fine as well. A comfort food that can be dressed up or down for brunches, entrees, or an option for vegetarian guests. I like having this for serving family style or buffet style brunches because it can be prepared in advance with a quick reheat before serving.
Difficulty level: Ratatouille is simple to make, it is the veggie slicing that makes it labor intensive. You can use a chopper or slicer to make faster work of the process, but it is also tasty when prepared with a rougher cut. This method makes for a less mushy, soupy version
QUITE A KITCHEN PREP TIP: Prepare the eggplant slices one day before the rest of the prep by frying them in a bit of olive oil and refriderate overnight. This gives them a chance to marninate and makes it easier to prepare the next day.
VEGGIE VARIABLES: Some vegetables are so unique they cry out to be featured in a special way. Have an unusual vegetable variant? Ratatouille is a perfect way to use it to best advantage. Farmer’s Market or Heirloom garden vegetables really shine in a Ratatouille. We got these Japanese eggplants, these long lanky lovelies proved themselves perfect candidates for using as simple slices of about 1.5 inches each.
- 1 onion, sliced thin
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- a 3/4-pound eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
- 1 small zucchini, scrubbed, quartered lengthwise, and cut into thin slices
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 3/4 pound small ripe tomatoes, chopped coarse (about 1 1/4 cups)
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
- 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
Ratatouille may be made 1 day in advance, kept covered and chilled, and reheated before serving. Can also be served over pasta dressed with olive oil