Team building, cooking events, catering, parties, and classes in the San Francisco Bay Area

Ratatouille

For 4 servings

This dish ages well—make plenty, and enjoy it warm for dinner, cold as a salad for lunch. Start only with the best seasonal vegetables, because they are the secret to this dish. The other secret is not to skimp on the oil.

  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 very fresh globe eggplant, trimmed and diced
  • 3 plump cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 red, ripe summer bell peppers, trimmed, seeded and diced
  • 3 small zucchini, trimmed and diced
  • 3 summer tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 6 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt, freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Fresh herbs from the garden (or market)—a few sprigs of oregano, a sprig of thyme, and a handful of basil leaves

Prepare all the vegetables. Heat a large sauté pan, and add 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the onion, and cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes, until it starts to soften. Add the eggplant and 3 more tablespoons of oil—cook over medium-high heat until the eggplant just begins to soften. Add the garlic and peppers, and continue to cook and toss the vegetables. Add some salt and pepper, to taste.

Once the pepper begins to soften, add the zucchini pieces, and continue to cook for another minute. Now, add the tomatoes and herbs, and the remaining tablespoon oil. Cook over medium-low heat, at a simmer, until all of the vegetables are softened and the flavors have melded a bit, maybe 5 minutes more. Check the seasonings, and remove the stems from the thyme and oregano, then serve.