Monday, July 11, 2011

Eggplant, Zucchini, and Tomato Ratatouille

The other night Mitch brought home an eggplant, a zucchini, and a big ripe tomato from the farmers' market. That combination of vegetables made me think ratatouille, but I didn't have a long time to make it, so I skipped the totally oven-roasted one I usually like. This combination of flavorful summer vegetables, red wine, and basil can't be beat. It would be a wonderful side dish with grilled flank steak or even barbequed chicken.

Eggplant, Zucchini, and Tomato Ratatouille
serves 4

2 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
8 cloves of garlic (less if you don't like garlic, I suppose)
3 shallots, finely chopped (or 1 small red onion, diced)
2 small eggplants
2 zucchini
2 large tomatoes
1/2 cup red wine (any wine will do, including one that has been open too long to be good drinking anymore--the vinegar works in this recipe)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup basil, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped parsley, for garnish
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmigiano

Cut the zucchini and the tomato into 1/2 to 1 inch cubes. Score the flesh of the eggplants without piercing the skin, then use a sharp spoon to remove most of the flesh while keeping the skins intact. Set the skins aside, and dice the flesh.

In a large skillet or saucier, heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and shallots and saute for 2 minutes. Add the eggplant and zucchini, and saute another 5 minutes. Add the tomato, wine, and vinegar and bring to a simmer.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Stir together the bread crumbs, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and parmigiano in a small bowl. Simmer the vegetable mixture until all the veggies are soft and the flavors are melding, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, and stir in the basil.

Place the eggplant skins in a baking pan, empty side up. Using a slotted spoon, transfer as much of the veggie mixture as you can into the eggplant skins. Cover the rest of the vegetables (the ones that don't fit in the skins) and keep them for leftovers--they only get better the second day. Top each eggplant filled with veggies with the bread crumb mixture, and bake for 15 minutes, or until the topping is browned.

Serve each person one eggplant half, sprinkled with the parsley.

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