Tonight Bob made ratatouille for me from garden fresh tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, green peppers, onions and flat leaf parsley and thyme from our herb garden. Ratatouille takes some time to make and so you can feel the love that someone (Bob) has put into this special dish.
Basically you peel two medium eggplant and slice it up and cut up two medium zucchini to look basically the same as your eggplant. Toss the vegetables into a bowl (non metal) and salt. Let stand 30 or so minutes. This leeches out the bitterness of the eggplant and some of the liquid out of the zucchini.
Then you cut up one large yellow onion into thin, small slices. Slice up two bell peppers. Peel two large tomatoes. Cut out the stems and squeeze out the seeds and some of the juice. Slice the tomato into strips.
Chop up some flat leaf parsley and some thyme, especially if you have an herb garden like we do!
Drain your eggplant and zucchini and pat dry. Heat up one T of olive oil and cook your eggplant and zucchini in batches until browned a bit. Set you veggies aside and then cook your onions and green peppers in the same skillet with a bit more oil. Add two cloves of garlic and season with salt and pepper. Lay tomato strips over the onion/pepper mixture and season with salt and pepper. Cover the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes start to render their juice. Uncover and increase heat a bit, and boil until juice has nearly evaporated.
Get out your favorite heavy dutch oven and layer zucchini/eggplant mixture first, then add some herbs, then top with tomato mixture. Keep layering until all ingredients are used. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes, then uncover and cook about 15 minutes or until the juices are nearly evaporated. Stir gently to keep from breaking up the veggies.
The best part is that this can be served hot, cold or at room temperature!
Doesn't this look good? (along with Bob's delectable pork chops and our homemade garlic bread?)