And indeed it was quite doable and, better yet, delivered delish summer freshness in a warm hint-of-fall package, all the more glorious when shared with crusty bread on a late summer evening filled with crisply cool air. Even my friend on a quirky diet for health reasons could fully enjoy it in all its strictly vegetableness. And we topped it with some chicken and Parmesan for a little added flair and protein,
So what was the ratatouille inspiration? None other than result number four of a Google search for "eggplant zucchini tomato" (my local food booty for the week).
Slate also noted that the key to the dish is that all the veggies have to cook for different amounts of time, so I made sure to study up on some recipes and their order.
Bonus: Buy Ratatouille ingredients, plus grab pizza dough (love me some Publix bakery!) and mozzarella (and goat if you like) cheese, and you can have this pizza. I topped the dough with (in this order) olive oil, chopped garlic, sliced fresh mozzarella, a sprinkling of crumbled goat cheese, tomato and zucchini slices, a drizzle of olive oil and dried basil.
Adapted from SouthernFood.About.com
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chppped
1 small eggplant, coarsely chopped
1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
4 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped
4 small zucchini, sliced (I used 2 yellow and 2 green)
Basil, to taste (I used fresh)
Oregano, to taste
Thyme, to taste
Parsley, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
Toppings: shredded chicken, chopped fresh basil, Parmesan cheese
In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onions and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add eggplant; cook about 10 minutes. Add peppers and salt and pepper; cook about 10 more minutes, covered.
Add tomatoes, zucchini, and seasonings; mix well. Cover and cook over low heat about 15 minutes, or until eggplant is tender but not too soft.
Serve with toppings if desired.