Ratatouille

2 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 to 3 medium zucchini, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1/2 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 (14 1/2 oz.) can diced tomatoes and juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1 t. dried thyme
1/2 cup fresh slivered basil

  1. In a large Dutch oven (at least 5 qt.) heat oil. Add onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute.
  2. Add eggplant, zucchini and bell peppers.  Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add 1/2 cup water, partially cover and simmer about 10 minutes until vegetables are almost tender.
  4. Add tomatoes and thyme. Continue simmering until vegetables are tender, another 15 minutes or so. Adjust seasoning and add fresh basil.

Note 1: I often substitute Herbes de Provence in place of the dried thyme. You can also use an Italian Herb seasoning if you want, but don’t forgo the fresh basil.

Note 2: This recipe doubles easily. If you do, use 4 medium zucchini.

Note 3: for a delicious impromptu dinner, simmer 3 cups of ratatouille in a large nonstick skillet. Crack 4 eggs one at a time into a cup and gently tip each egg into indentations made with a spoon in the top of the ratatouille. Partially cover and cook just until the eggs are set to your liking. (I like my yolks runny.) Serve with a toasted slice of country bread. Yum.

Final note:(I promise!) If I have leftover Bertolli’s Tomato Basil sauce in the refrigerator, I toss it into the ratatouille for extra flavor.

Serves: 4 to 6
2 Poodles

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