The farmer’s market is one of my favorite places in the summer – I love the fresh vegetables, unbeatable prices, and some of the “fun” stuff at a few of the different booths. The original Ratatouille calls for onions, but since my little family doesn’t “do onions”, I left those out. Also, just as an FYI…my garlic turned green (I know, EW), so I didn’t use that either (even though I left it in this particular recipe).
This particular recipe will prepare 8-10 servings of a side dish OR about good 4 bowls if it’s the main dish… which is purely acceptable. Just serve it up with some bread and Parmesan and VOILA! Supper is served.
Also, can I just say… if you love your feet…you may want to chop your veggies up as “do ahead prep work” – or enlist someone to help – to save you lots of time. Just sayin’!
- 2 1/2 lb tomatoes (4 large)
- 8 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 20 fresh basil leaves, torn in half
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 lb eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 3 assorted bell peppers (green, red, and/or yellow; 1 1/2 lb total), cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 medium zucchini (2 lb), quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
First, you’ll want to cut an X on the bottom of each of your tomatoes. Then, you’ll blanch them. (Stick them all in a 4-quart of boiling water for about a minute, then get them out. It makes the skin come off SUPER easy.) Starting at your X, begin peeling the skin off as soon as your tomatoes have cooled enough to handle.
Coarsely chop the tomatoes and transfer them to a 5-quart heavy pot with garlic, parsley, basil, and 1/3 cup oil. Simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes break down and sauce is slightly thickened, about 30 minutes.
While sauce is simmering, toss eggplant with 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large colander and let stand in sink 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a 12-inch skillet, pour 3 tablespoons oil and cook the bell peppers with 1/4 teaspoon salt over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Transfer peppers with slotted spoon to a separate bowl (which you’ll be adding all of your veggies to, so make it a big one!). Add 3 tablespoons oil to skillet and cook zucchini with 1/4 teaspoon salt over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer zucchini with slotted spoon to bowl with peppers.
While zucchini are cooking, pat eggplant dry with paper towels. Add remaining oil (about 1/4 cup) to skillet and cook eggplant over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 10 to12 minutes.
Add vegetables, remaining teaspoon salt, and black pepper to tomato sauce and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very tender, about 1 hour. Cool, uncovered, and serve warm or at room temperature.