Whoa there, Leafy! Why have you posted two ratatouille recipes in the the same month? Well, let me tell you – this vegetable dish, although perhaps considered provincial by some, is a knock-out and it should be a part of everyone’s regular roster. I made a roasted ratatouille last year, when I first started this blog, but I was using a point-and-shoot camera and I thought it deserved the spotlight once again. I’ve simplified my recipe a considerable amount and I’m really happy with the results. I served it with a duo of mashed potatoes (all with their skins still on) – chive sweet potatoes and garlic red-skinned. You should also note it gets better the next day, which is not something many foods can boast.
A dish that forces the vegetables, and the special way they play off of each other’s flavours and textures, into the spotlight is the perfect vegetable dish; no argument to be made against it. Get yourself to the farmer’s market, pick up the ingredients grown by a local farmer while you still can and marvel at this French wonder. If you’re nervous about eggplant, you can read my primer right here.
Serves 4, very comfortably
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Large handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
2 ripe, red tomatoes, sliced
2 small yellow zucchini, sliced
2 small eggplants, sliced and then salted
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and sliced
1 large red pepper, deseeded, sliced in long strips and then halved
Large handful of fresh thyme
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Fresh basil leaves, for serving
Preheat oven to 375 F. Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil in a shallow baking dish. Place the parsley and the garlic in a single layer on the bottom. Layer the slices of vegetables in concentric circles on top of the parsley and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil, place the fresh thyme, still on the stems, over the top of the vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 45 minutes. Take off the cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Serve hot, with whatever accompaniment you like: rice, potatoes, polenta, pasta – it all works just wonderfully.