Summer season guarantees a bounty of sun-kissed vegetables — a cornucopia of tomatoes, peppers, squash and eggplant that beg to be place to use.
This is not a dilemma. The trick is to lean in and count upon recipes that embrace and rejoice the abundance of make. A single attempted-and-correct dish that does so is ratatouille. Ratatouille is the southern French staple that handily combines all of the garden’s goodies layered in a terrine or simmered in a chunky, aromatic stew.
In the previous, I under no circumstances adopted a recipe for ratatouille — I simply just winged it and gathered whatever provencal veggies had been on hand, then sauteed and simmered them collectively in a tomato-streaked stew. The effects have been normally thick and warm with a saucy compote regularity. Recently, having said that, I have taken a fresher, recipe-pushed route, many thanks to the chef Alice Waters.
In her ratatouille recipe, Waters cooks each individual vegetable independently as she bit by bit combines them into the stew. Her strategy showcases every single vegetable and purposely keeps them intact, frivolously certain with each other by the juice of refreshing tomatoes. The spices are delicate, and the stew is infused with refreshing basil, tied jointly in a straightforward bouquet garni (fresh herb sprigs tied with kitchen string), which is quickly fetched and eliminated from the pot at the close of cooking. The end result is a shiny and clean ratatouille, neither muddled nor extremely sauced, and a beautifully mild, summery complement to any meal.
I have tinkered just a small with the recipe, which includes thyme sprigs in the bouquet garni and finishing the ratatouille with a splash of fruity balsamic vinegar and plenty of black pepper for kick. This dish is best eaten inside a day to preserve its fresh new flavors. Try out to preserve the greens as uniform in measurement as achievable when slicing and dicing.
Active time: 40 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Produce: Serves 6 as a aspect dish
1 world eggplant, about 1 1/2 lbs ., slash into 1/2-inch cubes
Additional-virgin olive oil
1 substantial yellow onion, diced
2 purple bell peppers, seeded, diced
2 narrow zucchini or yellow squash, halved lengthwise, slice into 1/2-inch thick moons
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried chile flakes
4 medium vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
4 sprigs contemporary basil and 2 sprigs clean thyme, tied jointly with kitchen area string
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Refreshing basil leaves, torn, for garnish
Position the eggplant in a colander. Generously time with salt and toss to coat. Area the colander in a bowl or in your sink and allow stand for 30 minutes. Blot the eggplant dry with paper towels.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large pot in excess of medium heat. Increase the eggplant and prepare dinner right until tender and tinged golden, about 8 minutes. If the pot dries out also promptly, add extra oil as needed. Transfer the eggplant to a bowl.
Incorporate 2 far more tablespoons oil to the pot. Insert the onion and prepare dinner more than medium warmth until eventually soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Incorporate the peppers and continue to cook dinner until the peppers are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Incorporate the squash and prepare dinner until finally brilliant and crisp-tender, about 3 to 4 minutes additional. Stir in the garlic and pink pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Increase the tomatoes and the bouquet garni and prepare dinner for about 5 minutes, stirring routinely.
Stir in the eggplant and continue on to cook dinner till all of the greens are comfortable, 10 to 12 minutes, stirring from time to time. Take out and discard the bouquet garni. Incorporate the balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt (or to style) and black pepper, and flavor for seasoning.
Provide heat or at home temperature garnished with basil.