Who said vegetables have to be bland and boring? Definitely not anyone who has tried this ratatouille recipe!
The classic late summer recipe from Southern France is a stewed mélange of zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, tomatoes, and onions, so famous Disney made a move titled Ratatouille. It is usually cooked in a deep saute pan or stew pot, but it is sooooo much better on the grill. And served on a bed of pasta.
- 1 pound eggplant
- 1 pound zucchini or yellow squash
- 1 large onion
- 1 large red, yellow, or orange bell pepper
- 1 pound meaty tomatoes like Roma or San Marzano
- Morton Coarse Kosher Salt
- 6 tablespoons inexpensive olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoons fresh oregano (1 teaspoon dried)
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme (1 teaspoon dried)
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Cooked pasta for four (I like farfalle)
- Fresh basil, oregano, chives, and/or thyme
- Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese About the salt. Remember, kosher salt is half the concentration of table salt so if you use table salt, use half as much. Click here to read more about salt and how it works.
These recipes were created in US Customary measurements and the conversion to metric is being done by calculations. They should be accurate, but it is possible there could be an error. If you find one, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page
- Prep. With a potato peeler, remove some but not all of the eggplant skin. Give it pinstripes. Then cut it crosswise into 1/2” (1.27cm) thick discs. Cut the zucchini into discs. Cut the bell pepper in half and remove the seeds and stems. Cut the stem end off the tomatoes and then slice the tomatoes in half from top to bottom. Peel the onion, cut off the stem and top end of the onion, peel it, and cut it in half across the equator. Dump them into a large pan or mixing bowl, sprinkle with salt and about 4 tablespoons olive oil (save the other 2 tablespoons) and mix. Try to get a very light coat of oil on the surface of the eggplant.
- Start cooking the pasta.
- Fire up. Heat your grill to high.
- Cook. Grill the veggies over high heat until they get a little color on both sides, but don’t cook til they turn to mush. Leave a little crunch. As they finish, you can snatch the skins off the tomatoes: they should come off easily. Put the tomato skins in a bowl. Taste and salt to taste.
- Prep again. Remove the rest of the veggies and chop them into bite size chunks. Taste and salt to taste. Mince or press the garlic.
- Cook again. Place a skillet over direct heat on the grill or on a burner, and pour in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic, oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and salt and cook only for about a minute, enough to tame the garlic’s rawness. Add the tomatoes and smush them with a potato smasher or ladle. Cook until they thicken a bit, perhaps 5 minutes. Pour back into a bowl. (And I know some people think one should not cook tomatoes in cast iron. Bunk. If the pan is well seasoned, you are fine).
- Finish. Drain the pasta and toss it into the hot frying pan to warm it. Top it with the smashed tomatoes. Now add the rest of the veggies and liquid, stir, and if it has cooled off, warm the pan, lid on, over medium heat.
- Serve. Garnish and serve.