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Roasted Summer Ratatouille

Ratatouille for a Crowd

One of our favorite cookbooks is the classic "How to Cook Everything" by Mark Bittman. It's been our go-to, like a modern day "Joy of Cooking", throughout many years of countless meals. We turned to it again when faced with all of those market fresh veggies arranged in eye-catching heaps at the farmer market last weekend, and found a version of this perfect recipe.

To be honest, while we're calling it Ratatouille it's also arguably just a medley of simply roasted vegetables. Somehow when they're cooked together a wonderful blending of flavors and textures make for a dish that's way richer and more flavorful than the sum of its parts.

Chopping vegetables has a meditative quality to it, and that's really all this recipe requires. When we make this we settle in somewhere comfortable and chop everything all at once- often we double this to two sheet pans while we're at it. Assembling it is a quick moment, and the roasting is a hands-off affair that fills the house with amazing aromas.

This is so delicious it could be your entire meal. Served warm from the oven, with a bit of crusty bread, you'll marvel at your culinary brilliance. Add it to soup, mix it into pasta, spread it on toast, layer it in a sandwich. Whether you serve it warm, cold, or at room temperature you'll reach for it to accompany grilled fish, steak tips or chicken.

Light, naturally low in calories, but so satisfying, we think you'll find reasons to keep a batch in the fridge all summer long.

Roasted Summer Ratatouille

(Serves 4)

    All the pretty veggies:
    • 1 medium eggplant (feel free to chop, salt, rinse and drain, but we don't)
    • 4 assorted bell peppers (different colors add a nice touch)
    • 1 Anaheim pepper
    • 1/2 C. olive oil
    • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
    • 2 large Portobello mushrooms
    • 2 sweet onions
    • 2 medium zucchinis 
    • 1 c. chopped fresh basil leaves
    • 1 c. chopped fresh oregano leaves
    • Salt & Pepper
    • Red pepper flakes (optional)
    • 1 c. shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)

     Preparation:

    1. Preheat the oven to 350°, place a rack in the center of the oven.
    2. Lightly oil a sheet tray (or two, if you're enjoying your chopping). It's better to have the veggies in a single layer if possible.
    3. Chop the veggies into roughly 1" pieces (larger or smaller determines the chunkiness of the finished product, so choose your preferred size).
    4. Add the garlic cloves (whole, or cut in half if they're large), red pepper flakes, and the olive oil, salt, pepper, and half the chopped herbs.
    5. Toss them all together thoroughly with the olive oil, making sure the oil is coating all the veggies.
    6. Place the pan in the oven, roast for an hour, turning once or twice.
    7. Sprinkle with the remaining fresh herbs and mix well. Roast for another 15 minutes.
    8. If you're using it, stir in a bit of Parmesan. Choose a pretty plate or a bowl, and grab a fork!

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