A Very Classic Ratatouille
Note: The measurements here are approximate, so adjust quantities depending on what you have on hand. The cooking time will depend on how juicy the tomatoes and the type of eggplant. Just plan to check and stir the concoction every once in a while. Pull it from the oven when it reaches the thickness you like best. From Beth Dooley.
• 1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
• 1 medium eggplant (1 to 1 1/4 lb.); cut into 1-in. pieces, skin on (about 4 c.)
• 3 zucchini (1 to 1 1/4 lb.); cut into 1-in. pieces (3 to 3 1/2 c.)
• 2 to 3 medium yellow onions cut into 1-in. cubes (about 2 c.)
• 6 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 lb. mixed green and red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1-in. cubes (about 3 c.)
• 1/2 c. dry white wine
• 5 medium tomatoes, halved and cut into 1-in. pieces (about 4 c.)
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
• 1 to 2 tbsp. red wine or balsamic vinegar, to taste
• 1/4 c. chopped fresh basil
• 2 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
• 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Heat half the oil in a large skillet over medium. Working in batches, sauté the eggplant, zucchini, onions, garlic and peppers, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 to 8 minutes per batch and adding oil as needed. Use a slotted spoon, to transfer the batches to a large heavy flameproof casserole or pot. Once all the vegetables are sautéed, deglaze the sauté pan with the wine and pour into the casserole or pot.
Stir the tomatoes into the vegetables. Cover the casserole or pot and place in the preheated oven. Bake for about 4 to 5 hours, stirring occasionally. About 30 minutes before removing the casserole from the oven, stir in the vinegar to taste and add the fresh herbs. Continue cooking, uncovered, until the liquid has been reduced and the stew has reached the thickness you like. Season with salt and pepper.