Ratatouille is a perfect late summer dish, when eggplant, tomato and zucchini are coming in heavy. Fun to prepare, beautiful to serve and simply delicious. In this recipe we include fennel frond for an added anise kick.
- 2-4 eggplants
- 2-4 zucchini and/or summer squash
- 6 tomatoes
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, plus 1 extra for seasoning, minced
- 2 peppers, diced
- 1 can crushed tomatoes
- 4 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 Tablespoon fennel frond, chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Slice eggplant, tomato and zucchini / squash in 1/4 inch slices.
- In a large cast iron pan, alternate the eggplant, tomato and squash slices in concentric circles, set aside (you can do this while the sauce is simmering to save time).
- To make the sauce, heat a tablespoon or two of oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute 4 of the cloves of minced garlic, diced onion and peppers until soft. Add the crushed tomatoes and stir to incorporate. Let simmer until it thickens slightly. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper, and stir in 2 tablespoons of the basil and some of the fennel.
- Pour the sauce over the prepared pan of veggies.
- In a small bowl, combine the remaining garlic, basil, parsley, fennel and 4 tablespoons of oil. Season with salt and pepper. Then drizzle over the pan of vegetables.
- Cover with foil and bake for about 40 minutes, then uncover and return to the oven for another 20 minutes or so, until the vegetables are soft.
- Serve with fresh bread.