My family has been trying to eat more vegetarian these days, at least four times a week. There are so many versions of Ratatouille. Here is my version. I started adding a bit of vinegar at the end after my mother-in-law made me her Turkish style Ratatouille. I liked the acidity that it brought to the dish. I thought that it balanced the flavors wonderfully.
Excluding the salting of the eggplant, this dish takes about an hour to cook from start to finish and feeds about 8. Ratatouille tastes even better the next day, so if you have left-overs, all the better.
Here is what you’ll need:
- 1 large eggplant, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 3/4 cup olive-oil
- 1 large onion roughly chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, left whole
- 1 tsp. herbes de Provence
- 1/2 tsp. Aleppo pepper or crushed red pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 medium-sized tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 6 zucchini, sliced lengthwise and cut 1 inch across
- 2 yellow squash, sliced lengthwise and cut 1 inch across
- 1 green pepper, cut in 1 inch pieces
- 1 red pepper, cut in 1 inch pieces
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
Place the cut eggplant in a large bowl and generously sprinkle salt on top. Mix through and let it sit for about 30 minutes to an hour. Using a colander, rinse the excess salt off the eggplant and then pat dry using paper towels.
Place the tomatoes in a deep bowl, slit each one, and cover with boiling hot water. Let it sit in the water for 15 minutes. Run the tomatoes under cold water and peel the skin away. Chop the tomatoes.
In a heavy cast iron pot, add the olive oil and heat on medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for five minutes. Add the eggplant, Aleppo pepper, herbes de Province and bay leaves and cook for another 5 minutes. Mix periodically so the bottom doesn’t burn. Add the zucchini, yellow squash, green and red pepper, tomatoes, sugar, half cup of water, salt and black pepper. Mix well, cover, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for 45 minutes, turn off the heat and mix in the apple cider vinegar.
Serve with crusty bread or rice.