All the flavors of seasonal bounty meld together in this dish. Rather than cooking it on the stovetop, it’s roasted in the oven, with minimal attention. This technique helps preserve the taste and texture of the individual vegetables, even as they cook in each other’s juices, and creates more of a caramelized medley than a stew. Ratatouille makes a delicious side dish, a topping for grilled bread or pasta, and a hearty sauce for roasted chicken or fish.
- 1 small eggplant, about 1 pound
- 1-1/2 pounds tomatoes, any variety
- 1 pound zucchini or summer squash, green and/or yellow
- 3 yellow, orange, or red bell peppers
- 1 large onion, about 1 pound
- 8 cloves garlic, sliced
- 7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for the pans
- 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar from Modena, plus more to taste
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Cut all the vegetables into roughly 1-inch diced pieces and mix together along with the garlic in a large bowl. Add 6 tablespoons of olive oil and the salt, and toss to coat. Lightly oil two rimmed sheet pans (or line them with parchment paper) and divide the vegetables between them. Roast the veggies for a total of 3 hours.
After the first hour, as the vegetables give up their moisture and shrink in volume, combine them in one of the sheet pans; after the second hour, flip the veggies with a large spatula.
When done, transfer the vegetables back to the large bowl, taking care to get all the juices. Season with pepper, drizzle on the last tablespoon of olive oil and the vinegar, and sprinkle with the parsley.