Typically, I'm not a huge fan of Ratatouille. But, I've perfected this recipe so it has the perfect balance of acidity and sweetness (from the vegetables). And, it highlights so many late Summer veggies, like zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, tomatoes and onion.
· 1 small (1/2 lb.) eggplant, diced into ⅓-inch cubes
· 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
· 1 medium zucchini or yellow squash (about 1 lb.), diced into ⅓-inch cubes
· 1 small yellow onion, diced
· 1/2 red, orange or yellow bell pepper, diced into ¼-inch dice
· 3 large cloves garlic, chopped finely
· 2 large vine-ripened tomatoes (1 lb.), diced into ⅓-inch cubes, with their juices
· 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
· 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme (depending on how much you like thyme)
· 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
· 1/2 tsp. salt, divided (add more at the end, if needed)
· 1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1. Heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the eggplant and season with ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until soft and starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
2. Add another Tbsp. of oil to the pan. Add the zucchini/squash and ¼ teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring frequently, until tender about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
3. Add another Tbsp. of oil to the pan and add the onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking for another minute. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, thyme, crushed red pepper flakes (if using). Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are broken down into a sauce. Add the cooked eggplant and zucchini back into the pan and cook for another 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
4. Drizzle with olive oil if desired and sprinkle with fresh basil. Serve warm.