Ratatouille is a French veggie stew. It's a perfect summer dish that can be served with a crusty loaf of bread, over pasta, rice, or stirred into a quiche or frittata. During my semester abroad in college, my Spanish señora made this for dinner sometimes - that was always a good dinner. Of course there were other times she was rushed, so I'd get soggy french fries and a fried egg. Those were the nights I'd finish dinner, put on a jacket, and walk to the neighborhood falafel shop for REAL meal. Man, I missed cooking for myself in those days....
Anyways on to the recipe!
Makes four robust or six regular servings
2 onions, thickly sliced
1 medium to large eggplant, cut into cubes
2 yellow, red, or orange bell peppers, sliced
2 squash, diced
3 tomatoes, diced
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp dried thyme
Salt to taste
Optional: pinch of saffron
Heat up a deep saute pan or Dutch oven with the olive oil. Add onions and cook for 20 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently. You want the onions to be really carmelized to form the base. Once the onions are nice and golden, add the eggplant. Cook 10 minutes, again stirring frequently to prevent sticking.
Add the bell peppers. Lower heat to low and cook 10 minutes. Once the bell peppers are soft, add the squash, cook 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, thyme, salt and saffron (if using) to taste.