I tried making ratatouille about a year ago, and I wasn't crazy about it. I have realized two things since then: 1. I don't like fennel. Maybe in small doses, but that recipe was very fennely. 2. The kind of ratatouille I have been craving is the more Mediterranean variety I had when I was in Spain, which is more SPICY and less HERBY, which I guess is more French.
ANYWAY, The Moosewood Cookbook has both herby and spicy options, and I chose the latter. SUCCESS! It was everything I've ever wanted ratatouille to be! So delicious! And a great way to use summer veggies!
3 T olive oil
4 medium cloves garlic
2 c chopped onion
1 medium eggplant, cubed
1 1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t basil
1/2 t thyme
1/2 t cumin
2 t chili powder
cayenne to taste
1 c pitted, oil-cured olives (I used Kalamata)
1 medium zucchini, cubed
2 medium bell peppers, in strips
fresh black pepper
1 14oz can tomatoes (I used fire-roasted)
freshly minced parsley
juice of one lemon
1. Heat olive oil in a deep skillet or Dutch oven. (I used two skillets: garlic, onion and eggplant in one, zucchini and pepper in the other. You want there to be enough surface area so all the veggies can saute evenly.) Add garlic and onion and saute over medium heat for about five minutes.
2. Add eggplant, salt, spices and herbs, and stir. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes or until eggplant is soft.
3. Add zucchini, bell pepper, black pepper, and tomatoes. Cover and simmer for about ten more minutes, or until zucchini and bell peppers are tender. (I browned the zucchini and peppers, then combined with the eggplant, then added the tomatoes.)
I recommend serving over couscous!