I find that ratatouille is best accomplished in stages. For this recipe, I highly suggest completing the first part and letting it sit for a while before finishing in the oven, which really lets the vegetables become friends.
lightly adapted from Bon Appétit.
- 1 large globe eggplant, peeled, coarsely chopped
- 1 large zucchini, sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more
- ¾ cup olive oil, divided
- 5 sprigs thyme
- 1 large onion, halved, sliced ½ inch thick
- 1 red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes, divided
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup torn basil leaves
- Toss eggplant, zucchini, and 2 tsp. salt in a colander. Let sit 30 minutes, then pat dry with paper towels.
- Heat ¼ cup oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy ovenproof pot over medium-high. Add half of eggplant and zucchini and cook, stirring constantly, until vegetables begin to take on color, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Repeat with ¼ cup oil and remaining eggplant and zucchini.
- Tie thyme sprigs together with kitchen twine. Heat remaining ¼ cup oil in same pot and cook onion, bell pepper, garlic, and thyme, stirring occasionally, until onion is beginning to brown and is softened, 8–10 minutes. Add half of tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in zucchini and eggplant, then top with remaining 1 pint tomatoes (do not stir); season with salt and pepper. At this point, I recommend refrigerating the whole pot for 6 hours – overnight. If not, it’ll still be good, I just think it turns out better with some time.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Transfer pot to oven and roast until all vegetables are softened and tomatoes have begun to burst, about 20 minutes.
- Remove thyme bundle. Transfer to a serving platter and top with basil.