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Simple, Rustic Ratatouille

Late summer vegetable stew
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: French
Keyword: eggplant, french, healthy, stew, tomatoes, vegetable, vegetarian, zucchini
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • Dutch Oven or saute pan and oven safe pot

Ingredients

  • 4 Cups Fresh Tomatoes 6-8 beefsteak type tomatoes (depending on size)
  • 4 Cups Eggplant about 1 large eggplant
  • 4 Cups Zucchini about 1 medium zucchini
  • 4 Cups Bell Peppers about 2 large Red, Yellow, or Orange peppers
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  • Large Bunch Fresh Basil about 2 cups - divided
  • 5 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • Small Bunch Parsley
  • 2 Medium Onions

Instructions

  • Chop tomatoes into approximately ½ chunks and place in strainer or colander to let drain over sink or bowl for at least half an hour
  • Slice eggplant and zucchini into ¼ to ½ inch slices and lay out on paper towels in a single layer - salt generously and let sit for at least half an hour
  • Chop up bell peppers into approximately ½ chunks and set aside
  • Slice onions and set aside
  • Create an herb bundle with the thyme, parsley, and half the basil (save the other half for later) by tying it with undyed string or thread
  • Once eggplant has released its liquid, press firmly with paper towels to remove as much liquid as possible
  • Pour ¼ cup olive oil into dutch oven or large saute pan and set over medium heat for 3 minutes
  • Add onions and saute for 3 minutes
  • Add eggplant to hot oil and saute for 3-4 minutes
  • Add remaining ¼ cup of olive oil
  • Next add zucchini and peppers and saute for another 3-4 minutes
  • Finally add the tomatoes and herb bundle and turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes with no lid - stirring occasionally
  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • After vegetable have cooked on the stove top for 20 minutes remove herb bundle, place lid on dutch oven or transfer to oven safe pot with lid (if using a saute pan) and place in oven
  • Cook covered and undisturbed in oven for 40 minutes to allow flavors to meld and vegetables to become meltingly tender
  • Remove from oven and add remaining basil (stems removed and leaves torn in half)
  • Let cool slightly before serving and sprinkle with a pit of parmesan cheese if desired