Easy Ratatouille


By Roseli Burfiend

This is a super easy and tasty way to use some of those co-op veggies.  We had it served over pasta last night and, as my hubby observed, it didn’t look terribly promising going into the oven, but the flavor was terrific for the simple ingredients involved.  It’s a great way to use those co-op eggplants!  America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook was my recipe source (p133).

Serves: 6 to 8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes (includes 1 hour roasting time)

“This dish can be served as a side dish (either hot or room temperature), as a vegetarian main course with rice, or as a sauce for pasta or chicken.  The fruity flavor of extra-virgin olive oil tastes good here, although regular olive oil can be substituted.”

1 globe eggplant (1 lb), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 medium zucchini or summer squash (1 lb), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 red onion, halved and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 (28oz) can diced tomatoes, drained with 1/3 cup juice reserved
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 5 garlic cloves, sliced think
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

“Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees.  Combine the eggplant, zucchini, onion, tomaotes with reserved juice, oil, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and mix well.  Spread the mixture into a 9 by 13-inch baking dish.  Roast until the vegetables have softened and are browned in spots, about 1 hour, stirring thoroughly halfway through the cooking time.  Sprinkle with the vinegar before serving.”

“Test Kitchen Tip: Roasting Ratatouille Most ratatouille recipes have two things in common–great flavor and a heck of a lot or work (each vegetable being individually sautéed in a skillet, then combined).  We set out to find a method for ratatouille that would produce maximum flavor in a minimum time.  We knew roasting all the vegetables simultaneously, although unorthodox, would save time, but how would we avoid soggy eggplant and squash?  A 375-degree oven was the answer.  After an hour in the over, the moisture released by the eggplant and squash had evaporated and, as a result, the flavor of the vegetables had been concentrated.  The onion, garlic, and tomatoes also carmalized nicely, lending a tasty background flavor.  With thyme for an herbal note and red wine vinegar for a subtle tange, we had ratatouille that went from cutting board to table in just over an hour and required little hands-on attention.”