Sunshine in a plate, this Provencal specialty embraces seasonal produce and is delicious warm or cold year round. Summer is peaking and I suggest this sunny version, part grilling, part baking the vegetables. Why not enjoy it at room temperature with some tuna or anchovies, maybe olives? If you feel a need to add some protein, why not poached or confit fish, or stewed chickpeas? Enjoy!
Prepare in 20, cook in 1h
Prepare the caramelized onions
Slow cook the onions with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a non stick pan for an hour on low heat. Do not stir them, they will take care of themselves.
Prepare the tomato sauce
- Chop the tomatoes, keep the juices if you can, and cook down on low with the aromatics for 1 hour. Stir occasionnaly.
- When the tomatoes combine into a thick sauce, discard the herbs but keep the garlic.
Prepare the ratatouille
- Salt the eggplant on both sides and rest at least 15 minutes, up to an hour. Once the moisture surfaces, pat dry with a paper kitchen towel.
- Get a (indoor or outdoor) grill hot, and grill the zucchini, eggplant and peppers on both sides until nice grill marks are formed.
- Preheat your oven to 170ºC.
- Lightly oil a skillet or oven proof dish -round is nice, and about 20cm diameter.
- Spoon the tomato sauce at the bottom of the dish and reserve about 2 tablespoons to garnish at the end.
- Alternate the vegetables on top, overlapping them slightly to form a nice crown and packing them well next to the other as they will shrink when they cook.
- Fill the gaps with the remaining tomato sauce.
- Add extra thyme and bake in the oven for at least 30 minutes or until soft and cooked through.
- To serve, garnish with the caramelized onions.
For the tomato sauce
- 4 tomatoes, peeled and seeded
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp sea salt
For the ratatouille
- 2 onions, finely sliced
- 1 zucchini, in 1cm thick slices
- 1 small eggplant, in 1cm thick slices
- 1-2 sweet yellow pepper, sliced
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil