The eggplants that grow in the Mediterranean, shorter but wider than their Asian siblings, have the best texture for vegetable stews because they retain their shape despite the long cooking time. The downside is that they are somewhat bitter whereas Asian eggplants are sweet. It is up to you which variety to use. If using Asian eggplants, add them during the last ten minutes of cooking to prevent them from getting too soggy.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 eggplants cubed
- 1 zucchini halved then cut into half-inch sliced
- 2 bell peppers deseeded and diced
- 1 wedge squash cubed
- 4 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 1 red onion roughly chopped
- 4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or 3 sprigs fresh oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- basil chiffonade to garnish
- chopped parsley to garnish
Heat the olive oil in a wide shallow pan.
Saute the garlic and onion until softened and aromatic.
Add the eggplants, zucchini, bell peppers and squash. Fry lightly for a minute or so.
Pour in the chopped tomatoes.
Add the thyme and oregano.
Sprinkle in some salt and pepper.
Stir the vegetables. Bring to a boil then immediately lower the heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until tender. The juice from the tomatoes should be just enough to allow the vegetables to cook. For best results, taste the ratatouille midway through the cooking and add more salt and pepper, as needed.
Off the heat, taste the ratatouille one last time and adjust the seasonings, if necessary.
Sprinkle the basil chiffonade and chopped parsley over the ratatouille. Serve warm or at room temperature with rice, bread or noodles.