One of our favorite weekends of the year is when the lovely Lisa Bertagnoli flies in from Chicago for a good dose of Southern culture. And this time she came armed with a recipe for ratatouille, which we populated with veggies from our garden and the local farmers market. It was delish and healthy and made for a very happy dinner. We served it with a side of angel hair pasta and garlic-butter ciabatta rolls.
Here’s the recipe.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 eggplant, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
¾ teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 small summer squash, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
2 bell peppers, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 onion, halved, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon rosemary
2 teaspoons thyme
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
½ cup chopped basil, plus 4 sprigs for garnish
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add eggplant, 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, tossing occasionally, 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
2. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet; add squash, bell peppers, remaining salt and pepper to taste. Cook, 5 minutes; transfer to the bowl of eggplant.
3. Add remaining oil; add onion, garlic, bay leaf, rosemary, thyme. Cook until the onions turn translucent, 5 minutes. Add tomatoes; cook, 10 minutes.
4. Return all vegetables to the pan; cover. Cook until the eggplant is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in chopped basil and vinegar. Divide among 4 plates; garnish with basil sprigs.
Adapted from recipe by Kay Stepkin, originally published in Chicago Tribune, July 20, 2011