Monday, November 18, 2013

Oven Roasted Vegetable Ratatouille

Ratatouille is one of the great Mediterranean dishes, perfuming the kitchen with the essence of Provençal cuisine and all the glorious colours of autumn. Made with diced eggplant, zucchini, peppers, and tomatoes, this delicious Ratatouille is prepared by oven roasting the vegetables on a parchment lined baking sheet, which allows them to retain their own shape, texture and character. Once the vegetables have been roasted in the oven for about an hour with some lovely fresh herbs, garlic and a little olive oil, they're combined in a large bowl or serving platter, allowing the flavours to finally come together in one big happy marriage. As with any ratatouille, it tastes even better the next day, so it's an ideal make-ahead dish.

Oven Roasted Vegetable Ratatouille
Serves 8

1 medium eggplant, cut into cubes - about 4 cups
2 medium zucchini, cut into 3/4-inch dice
2 bell peppers, red and yellow, de-seeded and diced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 sprigs rosemary
2 sprigs thyme
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Position racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment. In a large bowl, toss the eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, garlic, olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper. Spread the vegetables evenly over both sheets.

Roast, stirring the vegetables a few times, until the vegetables are slightly collapsed or shriveled, starting to brown, and very tender, about 60-80 minutes. If the vegetables look like they may burn, turn down the heat or pile them closer together. If they look dry, drizzle on a little more olive oil. Using a slotted spatula, spoon all of the vegetables and any juices into a serving bowl. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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