One of the most popular ingredients in Mediterranean cooking is the eggplant. Shiny and purple, it is easy to spot but many people don’t know what to do with it. But, treated with a little love and care and garlic and olive oil, the eggplant can be a tasty addition to your every day meals.
At culinary school, we were taught two different variations of the ratatouille recipe. Actually, we were taught one recipe but two different ways to prepare it. The difference was in the way the ingredients of ratatouille were cut. We were told to cut it brunoise (1/4 x 1/4 x 1/4 inch cube) if we were making the ratatouille as part of an appetizer. But since this is an annoying cut even for professional chefs, I suggest you use the Macedonian cut, which is about a quarter of an inch cube. If you like, you can cut the ingredients of ratatouille into half inch cubes. As long as all the pieces are more or less uniform, you’re okay.
- 1/4 pound eggplant
- 1/4 pound zucchini
- 1/4 pound onions
- 1 green pepper
- 1 red pepper
- 1/2 pound tomatoes, cored and seeded
- 3 ounces olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 bay leaf
- A dash of thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut all the ingredients of your ratatouille into 1/2 inch cubes.
- To core the tomatoes, it’s easiest to cut the tomatoes into quarters. Then cut out the centers of the tomatoes, removing the seeds. Then cut the tomatoes into flat squares.
- You will need either a frying pan that can be covered and put into the oven or a roasting pan. Since this recipe cooks at 325 degrees, just about any frying pan you have will work. But if you are concerned about your frying pan being put in the oven, you can sauté your ingredients and put them in a roasting pan.
- Put some olive oil in the frying pan and get it hot over a medium heat.
- Saute your eggplants until half cooked and remove from the frying pan.
- Do the same with the zucchini, then the onions and peppers until half cooked.
- Add the garlic.
- Put all the ingredients into a brazier and cover and cook in the oven until tender, about 30 minutes. If the ratatouille is too wet, cook it uncovered until it is the right consistency.