R. Stuart & Co’s Ratatouille Recipe

Final Ratatouille photo.jpg

Ratatouille is a classic dish of Southern France and is the perfect thing to make in late summer or early fall. Because it’s such a simple dish, the quality of the vegetables make a big difference and this is the season when tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and eggplant are at their peak.

This makes a wonderful side dish for grilled or roasted chicken or lamb. It’s good warm or at room temperature, and it keeps well. It even improves with time. Served with a poached egg or some white beans, it makes a wonderful vegetarian entrée. Really the possibilities are endless! Bon appétit!

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 medium or 2 small eggplant, cut into ½ inch dice

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more to taste

  • 2 medium purple onions, cut into ½ inch dice

  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped

  • ½ bunch of basil and several stems of fresh thyme, tied into a bundle with kitchen string

  • ½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper or a healthy pinch of red pepper flakes

  • 2 sweet bell peppers, any color but green, cut into ½ inch dice

  • 2 medium summer squash or zucchini, or a mix, cut into ½ inch dice

  • Salt to taste

  • 6 to 8 chopped fresh basil leaves, to finish

Ratatouille Photos.jpg

Instructions

1.      Place a colander in the sink. Put the eggplant in the colander and toss with 1teaspoon salt. Let that rest for about 20 minutes.

2.      Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot. Pat the eggplant dry and add it to the pot. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until golden. If the eggplant sticks to the bottom of the pot, add a little more oil. Once it’s golden, remove the eggplant and set aside.

3.      In the same pot, pour in 2 more tablespoons of oil, then add the onions and cook for about 10 minutes until soft and transluscent. Add the garlic, the herb bundle, Aleppo pepper and a pinch of salt. Stir everything together and cook for about 5 minutes.

4.      Add the peepers and cook for another 5 to 8 minutes and then stir in the squash. Cook for another five minutes then add the tomatoes and stir to combine.

5.      Cook all of this for about 10 more minutes, then add the eggplant back into the pot. Cook for 15 minutes more until all of the vegetables are soft.

6.      Remove the bouquet of herbs and taste. Season with more salt or pepper if you like. Stir in the chopped basil leaves and drizzle with more extra virgin olive oil, if you like.

7.      Serve warm or at room temperature.