Summer Ratatouille

Your Royko Recipe for June, 2018

This recipe uses less heat than long-baked versions.
Food & Wine, July 1992, Page 85. Credit: Ann Haskell.

Ratatouille is incredibly flexible. Enjoy it as a side dish. Use it as an omelette filling. Serve it over pasta. Or, fill cornmeal crepes with it.

A personal note. Eggplant soaks up a great deal of oil in cooking. And if you feel as I do that its flavour is not worth writing home about, by all means eliminate it. If you want a substitute, slice 2-3 small zucchinis, washed but not peeled, and use them instead.

Summer Ratatouille

Serves 4.

6 tbl. olive oil-or less

1 medium chopped onion
1 julienned green bell pepper-1/4-inch thick
1 julienned yellow bell pepper-1/4-inch thick
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 julienned red bell pepper-1/4-inch thick

1 medium sliced globe eggplant-1/4-inch thick
1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 large halved lengthwise, sliced tomatoes -1/4-inch thick
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Preheat oven to 400 ̊. In a large, heavy, nonreactive skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over moderately high heat. Add onion, garlic, peppers, eggplant and mushrooms and sauté, tossing and adding more olive oil as necessary, until the vegetables soften, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper and add the basil. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for 1 minute longer.

Transfer the vegetables to a 14-inch oval gratin dish and sprinkle the cheese on top. Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Serve hot, warm or cold.
Ratatouille will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for 3 days.

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