This ratatouille celebrates all there is to love about summer produce. Lightly grilled, then sautéed and topped with fresh garden herbs, it's light and filled with flavor. Serve with your favorite crusty bread or over a whole grain and a glass of chianti and you've got yourself a perfect summer meal.
This is one of this meals that I come back to every summer right around this time. We are just starting to see the first of the local zucchini and eggplant at the farmer's markets, which is pretty much what I wait for all year long. Except maybe August tomatoes. Yes, definitely August tomatoes.
This one-dish meal is a great way to pack in a ton of vegetables in one meal without feeling like you're just crunching on a huge salad. And let me tell you: my husband turns his nose up at both eggplant and zucchini in most forms (seriously, the man loves Brussels sprouts and kale but not eggplant; I don't understand), but he devours this dish. So it's a great way for us both to enjoy some of my favorite summer vegetables. It's light, but surprisingly filling, especially when paired with a whole grain. An abundance of fresh herbs used both during the cooking process and as a finisher pair perfectly with the vegetables and basically sing summer.
Grilling the zucchini and eggplant add a slightly smokey, charred flavor to the dish, but if you don't have a grill, you can either roast these vegetables ahead of time or you can just add them to the pan to sauté when you add the mushrooms.
We topped it with a little freshly grated Parmesan cheese before serving, and it's also delicious if you melt a little fresh mozzarella in right at the end -- cover for a couple of minutes to get that melty goodness we all love. Or, if you don't do dairy, you can just eat it as is, no cheese necessary.
What I also love about this meal is how flexible it is. Sometimes I add some cooked (or canned) white beans for a little protein boost. I have all of the herbs in this dish in my garden, so I added them all, but if you're missing one (or two) don't fret, just use what you have!
I've served it over pasta, couscous, orzo, or even faro and it's always delicious. Or, just grab a loaf of your favorite crusty bread and dip away. It can also make a great appetizer with toasted (or grilled) bread. It's surprisingly easy, comes together pretty quickly and makes great lunch leftovers so I definitely recommend making extra.
Grilled Summer Vegetable Ratatouille
Description of Recipe
Makes: 4 servings
- 1 medium eggplant
- 2 medium zucchini
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt, divided
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 medium onion
- 3-4 cloves of garlic
- 10 ounces white or baby bella mushrooms
- 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes. I like San Marzano tomatoes for their sweetness.
- 2 Tbsp each (chopped): fresh rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, parsely
- Optional: fresh mozzarella or freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- For serving: whole grain pasta, couscous, orzo, or other whole grain OR baguette or other crusty bread of choice
- Heat grill to medium (about 400 degrees F). Slice eggplant into 1/2 inch rounds and zucchini lengthwise into quarters (bigger pieces are better for the grill so it doesn't get too soft). Toss in a bowl with 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt and a couple of turns of freshly ground pepper. Grill vegetables for 3-5 minutes per side, just enough to brown, but don't let them get too soft or they will become mushy when you add them to the rest of the dish. When done, remove and let cool on cutting board until cool enough to handle and chop. When ready, chop into ~ 1/2 inch pieces.
- Meanwhile, dice onion, mince garlic, and slice mushrooms. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp oil over medium heat in a large pan. Add onions and cook for 2-3 minutes until slightly softened. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes, until slightly soft.
- Add tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, oregano, remaining 1/4 tsp of salt, and a little fresh pepper. Stir and turn down heat to low and cook for 5-7 minutes to let flavors set in.
- Stir in eggplant and zucchini and let cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add basil and parsely. Top with cheese if using and serve with grain or bread of choice.