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    from "French Farmhouse Cookbook" by Susan Hermann Loomis

    Perhaps no dish is so classically Provençal as ratatouille, though like many classic dishes, each cook has his or her own ideas about how to make it. This ratatouille is based on a recipe I got from Monique Tourrette, who prefers to cut her vegetables in very small pieces. She also adds a bit of bacon, which is delicious but, to my taste, not necessary. If you want to try it, just cook 4 ounces of good-quality slab bacon, cut into small pieces, along with the onions.

    The final touches of parsley and vinegar are optional, but they add a little spice which I find welcome, particularly when the ratatouille is first made. Incidentally, ratatouille is like a good stew — it gets better and is actually at its height of flavor on the third day.

    We love ratatouille, and sometimes it is our main course, along with bread and a salad. It is delicious as a sandwich filling, by itself or with cheese or ham, and it is also wonderful spread on fresh bread dough and baked, as for a pizza.

    Try a Coteaux du Languedoc Rosé or a Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence Rosé with this.

    4 servings

    1 large eggplant, cut into medium cubes
    Sea salt
    5 tablespoons olive oil
    3 onions, peeled and cut into small cubes
    Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
    2 large green bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into small dice
    1 large zucchini, cut into small cubes
    1 pound plum tomatoes, peeled and diced
    2 cloves garlic, peeled, green germ removed, and minced
    1 imported bay leaf
    1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried

    1 cup (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley leaves (optional)
    1/4 cup (60 ml) best-quality red wine vinegar (optional)
    1 lemon, cut into eighths

    Please Note: When plum tomatoes are unavailable, we may substitute another tomato in this recipe.

    Print recipe

    1. Place the eggplant in a colander, sprinkle it with 1 tablespoon salt, toss, and let sit for 1 hour.
    2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°F.
    3. After an hour, rinse the eggplant quickly and pat dry. Place the eggplant and 2 tablespoons of the oil in a bowl. Toss so the eggplant is as evenly coated with the oil as possible; then spread the eggplant in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in the center of the oven, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is soft and golden, about 40 minutes.
    4. During the time the eggplant is salted or baking, prepare the rest of the dish: In a large heavy skillet, combine 1 tablespoon of the oil with the onions. Stir, cover, and cook over medium heat until the onions begin to turn golden and are very soft, 20 to 25 minutes.
    5. When the onions are cooked, season lightly with salt, and pepper if desired. Transfer the onions to a bowl and set them aside. In the same skillet, combine 1 tablespoon of the oil and the green peppers. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are olive green and tender, about 15 minutes. Remove the peppers to the bowl with the onions.
    6. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet. Add the zucchini, toss so it is coated with oil, cover, and cook until it is tender through, about 15 minutes. The zucchini will lose some of its shape and texture.
    7. Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme in a medium-size saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until the tomatoes are softened and tender through but still have some shape, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
    8. To finish the ratatouille, combine the eggplant and all the other ingredients in the skillet with the zucchini. Stir to combine, and season to taste. Let cook just long enough so that the ingredients are hot through, about 5 minutes. Adjust the seasoning.
    9. Mince the parsley leaves and place them in a small serving bowl. Place the vinegar in a small pitcher.
    10. Transfer the ratatouille to a warmed serving platter, garnish it with the lemon wedges, and serve the parsley and vinegar alongside.

    Product nutrition and information
     Quantity Ingredients Est.Price
      Eggplant - $1.49/lb
     Farm Fresh, Medium
      White Onion, Large - $1.49/lb
     Farm Fresh, Lg
      Green Bell Pepper - $1.29/lb
     Farm Fresh, Lg
      Green Zucchini, Medium - $1.99/lb
     Farm Fresh, Med
      Plum Tomato, Large - $1.99/lb
     Farm Fresh, Lg
      Garlic - $2.99/lb
     Farm Fresh, Med
      Thyme - $1.99/ea
     Farm Fresh
    Optional Garnishes
      Italian Parsley - $1.99/ea
     Farm Fresh
      Roland Aged French Red Wine Vinegar - $3.29/ea
      Lemons - $0.79/ea Save! 4 for $2.80
     Farm Fresh, Med
    You May Already Have
      La Baleine Fine Sea Salt - $3.49/ea
      O-Live & Co. Extra-Virgin Premium Olive Oil - $8.09/ea
      FreshDirect Tellicherry Peppercorns - $3.79/ea
      FreshDirect Bay Leaves - $3.79/ea
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