Submitted by Member Teresa DilMarco
Recipe created by Chef Alice Waters (chef/owner Chez Panisse in Berkely, California)
“This is the best ratatouille recipe ever! And I have tried many.”
1 medium eggplant cut into 1/2 inch cubes
4 Tblsp. olive oil, divided
2 medium onions, cut into 1/2 inch dice
4-6 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 bunch basil, tied in a bouquet with kitchen twine
a pinch of dried chile flakes
2 sweet peppers, cut into 1/2 inch dice
3 medium summer squash or zucchini cut into 1/2 inch dice
3 ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch dice
6 basil leaves chopped
salt and pepper
Line a medium bowl with paper towels. Add the cubed eggplant and toss with salt 1/2 tsp. Let sit 30 min. to absorb some of the liquid.
Heat in a heavy bottomed pot 2 Tblsp olive oil. Pat eggplant dry, add to the pan, cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden. Add a bit more oil if the eggplant absorbs all the oil and sticks to the bottom of the pan. Remove the eggplant when done and set aside.
Pour in 2 Tblsp olive oil. Add diced onions. Cook for about 7 min or until soft and translucent. Add chopped garlic, tied bouquet of basil, pinch of chile flakes and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 min.
Stir in diced sweet peppers, cook for 2-3 min. Add diced tomatoes, cook for 10 min.
Stir in eggplant. Cook for 10-15 min. more or until all vegetables are soft but not mushy. Remove the bouquet of basil, pressing on it to extract all the flavor. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper if needed.
Sprinkle with chopped basil leaves. Drizzle with a little olive oil if desired.
Serve warm or cold. It is even better the second day after it has sat in the refrigerator overnight.