Ratatouille: three simple summer recipes

Oven-roasted ratatouille creates a savory vegetables base that can enhance other dishes.

By , Three Many Cooks

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    Ratatouille made from a bounty of summer vegetables can be stewed or oven roasted. Here ratatouille is used on an open-faced sandwich lined with mozzarella and fresh basil leaves.
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I’m starting to get summer vegetable overload. The French solved this problem long ago and developed a dish we all love – ratatouille! Traditionally it’s stewed stovetop resulting in an utterly irresistible but slightly unattractive dish. We three cooks have found that roasting the vegetables rather than stewing them means they cook through yet sill hold their shape.

We love ratatouille on its own, but we also like that once you’ve made a batch, you can use it as a base to create very different dishes throughout the week. And because the ratatouille is already made, they’re super quick. How about Open-Face Ratatouille and Mozzarella Sandwiches, Summer Chicken Stew with Ratatouille Vegetables, or my favorite: Grilled Provencal Lamb Chops with Ratatouille Relish?

If you’re looking for other ways to use summer’s abundance, give Sharon’s Zucchini and and Summer Squash Ribbons try. And this ratatouille is just one more way to keep your vegetable consumption interesting this summer.

Recommended: Stir it Up!

Roasted Ratatouille
Makes about 5 cups

1 medium eggplant, trimmed and cut and cut into one-inch dice
1 large sweet onion, peeled and cut into one-inch dice
1 yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into one-inch dice
2 medium zucchini, trimmed and cut into one-inch dice
12 peeled garlic cloves, halved
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
Salt and ground black pepper
2 cups (1 pint) cherry tomatoes

Combine eggplant, onion, pepper, zucchini, and garlic in a large bowl. Add olive oil, thyme, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper; toss to coat. Turn vegetables onto a large-rimmed baking sheet.

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 425 degrees F. Set baking sheet in preheating oven; roast until vegetables are golden brown on bottom, about 20 minutes. Remove pan from oven, stir in cherry tomatoes, and then continue to roast, stirring once more, until tomatoes have start to release their juices, about 15 minutes longer. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature, or continue with one of the following recipes. (Can be covered and refrigerated up to 5 days.)

Open-Faced Roasted Ratatouille and Mozzarella Sandwich
Serves 2

For those with heartier appetites, cap sandwiches with bun tops.

1 cup Roasted Ratatouille (see above), warm or at room temperature
2 hero rolls (about 6-inches long), tops reserved for another use
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
4 ounces mozzarella (fresh, if possible) sliced thin
Fresh basil leaves

If Roasted Ratatouille is not yet made, do it now.

Toast rolls until golden brown. Drizzle each with a portion of olive oil and vinegar; top with a portion of cheese, enough basil leave to cover cheese, and the ratatouille. Serve.

Summer Chicken Stew with Ratatouille Vegetables
Serves 4

2 cups Roasted Ratatouille
8 medium boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper
1/2 cup each: white wine and chicken broth
12 coarsely chopped pitted kalamata olives (about 1/4 cup)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves

If Roasted Ratouille is not yet made, do it now.

Drizzle chicken with oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken thighs to hot skillet: sauté, turning only once, until golden brown on both sides, 7 to 8 minutes. Add wine and reduce by about half. Add chicken broth, ratatouille, and olives. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer to blend flavors, about 5 minutes. Stir in basil and serve.

Grilled Provencal Lamb Chops with Ratatouille Relish
Serves 4

2 cups Roasted Ratatouille
6 lamb loin chops, about 2-1/2 pounds
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon minced, fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
Salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoon capers
2 tablespoons minced, fresh basil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

If Roasted Ratatouille is not yet made, do it now.

About 20 minutes before serving, preheat gas grill, with all burners on high until very hot about 10 minutes, or build a hot charcoal fire. Clean grill rack with a wire brush then use a vegetable oil-soaked rag held with tongs to lubricate it. Have water close by to extinguish potential flare-ups.

Meanwhile, place lamb chops in medium bowl. Add oil, rosemary, garlic powder, orange zest, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper; rub onto chops to coat evenly. Grill lamb chops, turning only once, until impressive grill marks have formed on both sides and lamb is cooked to medium, about 8 minute.

Add capers, basil, and vinegar to Roasted Ratatouille. Serve each portion of lamb chops with a generous 1/2 cup of Ratatouille Relish.

Related video: How to make oven-roasted ratatouille

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The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of food bloggers. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by The Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own and they are responsible for the content of their blogs and their recipes. All readers are free to make ingredient substitutions to satisfy their dietary preferences, including not using wine (or substituting cooking wine) when a recipe calls for it. To contact us about a blogger, click here.

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of food bloggers. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by The Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own and they are responsible for the content of their blogs and their recipes. All readers are free to make ingredient substitutions to satisfy their dietary preferences, including not using wine (or substituting cooking wine) when a recipe calls for it. To contact us about a blogger, click here.

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