Ratatouille…for breakfast!

Well, I didn’t actually make ratatouille for breakfast.  But I did find that it’s hard to beat a warm bowl of leftover ratatouille topped with a fried egg or two in the morning.  For those of you unfamiliar with this french dish, it’s just a mélange (apparently I think I’m french now) of perfectly cooked, flavorful vegetables.  This is not fussy cuisine.  In fact, I think it may be comfort food at its best.

As a template, I used the recipe from Laura Calder’s book, French Food at Home, which I highly recommend for anyone who is interested in learning about, well…cooking french food at home.  I changed the amounts of the ingredients based on what I had available and I really took to heart her comment that “some people insist that it’s better when made with slightly overripe vegetables”.  I decimated the “half off” shelf at the food co-op and turned my bag of unimpressive-looking veggies into a mouthwatering mess of goodness.  You can make this a meal by serving it with a nice piece of crusty bread, perhaps topped with some melty gruyere cheese.

serves 4
adapted from Laura Calder’s French Food at Home

– 1 large (28 oz) can whole, peeled tomatoes
– about 1/3 cup good quality olive oil, divided
– 1 medium onion, sliced
– 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
– 1 bay leaf
– 1 rosemary branch
– 2 Tbsp tomato paste
– 3 zucchini, sliced
– 2 red or yellow peppers, seeded and sliced lengthwise
– 1 eggplant, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
– salt and pepper
– a handful of chopped fresh parsley
– a handful of chopped fresh basil

Preheat the oven to 450F.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a large pot and cook the onions until softened, about 10 minutes.  Add the garlic, cook for another minute, and then add the can of tomatoes.  Using a wooden spoon, roughly crush the tomatoes into big, bite-sized pieces.  Add bay leaf and rosemary and allow to simmer as the other vegetables are roasting.

In a large pan, toss the zucchini and peppers with about a tablespoon of olive oil.  Bake for about 30 minutes.  In a separate pan toss eggplant with a generous amount of olive oil.  I like for these to have quite a bit more oil than the other vegetables because they soak it up well and really take on the flavor.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Stir all vegetables about halfway through.

Add vegetables to the pot on the stove as they come out of the oven.  Season with salt and pepper and add the parsley and basil.  Drizzle with olive oil and serve it warm or at room temperature.

* I added this post to this week’s Mix it Up Monday, My Meatless Monday, Just Another Meatless Monday, and Melt in Your Mouth Monday.