Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. Give him ramen noodles, and you don’t have to teach him anything.
- Lawrence Downes
I imagine there's just enough time left to find fresh AND local ingredients for this recipe. Canned tomatoes are fine; if you do go with supermarket tomatoes, choose Roma. As with other posts here, this should serve as more of a guide than a recipe per sé. Personally I may substitute Italian red peppers, and I might add some dried chili flakes or basil and even some red wine toward the end.
Ratatouille can be eaten as is, hot or cold, tossed with pasta, or broiled on good Italian bread. It would be great served over polenta, and I'd certainly add some good shredded parmesan whatever you do with it.
2 medium eggplants (about 2 1/2 pounds), peeled and cubed
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 medium-size onions, chopped or sliced
3 ripe but firm tomatoes (about 1 pound), seeded and quartered
2 medium-size zucchini, peeled and thinly sliced
3 green bell peppers, seeded and cut into thin strips
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tablespoons dried herbes de Provence, wrapped in cheesecloth
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Lay the eggplant cubes on some paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Leave them to drain of their bitter juices for 30 minutes then pat dry with paper towels.
2. In a large skillet or casserole, heat the olive oil over medium heat, then cook the onions until translucent, about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, and garlic and shake or stir gently. Add the herbes de Provence, season with salt and pepper, and stir to mix. Cover and simmer over a medium-low heat until much of the liquid is evaporated and the vegetables tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Strain away any remaining liquid and serve at room temperature with bread.
Variation: In step 2, cook each vegetable one after the other, adding more olive oil when required, and mix all the vegetables once they are cooked.
Makes 6 servings