Traditionally, ratatouille is a slow-cooked vegetable dish that can simmer on the stove for hours. However, this recipe takes the basic elements and makes them accessible to the busy home cook. Instead of combining the zucchini, eggplant, and bell peppers in a large pot, the vegetables are individually charred on the grill. A generous shaving of salty cheese and a chunk of toasted bread slathered with chopped olives makes this a hearty, yet healthy vegetarian meal. For the recipe, keep reading.
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed and grated
- A generous handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 8 sage leaves, finely chopped
- 8 sprigs thyme, leaves finely chopped
- 4 sprigs rosemary, leaves finely chopped
- 2 small or 1 large zucchini, halved crosswise and sliced lengthwise 1/2 inch thick
- 2 red bell peppers, quartered and seeded
- 1 eggplant, sliced lengthwise 2/3 inch thick (I leave on half the skin — I like the color and texture it gives the dish)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 pound ricotta salata cheese, sliced
- 4 thick slices crusty bread
- 1 cup pitted black olives, finely chopped
- Preheat an outdoor grill or a grill pan to medium-high. In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, parsley, sage, thyme and rosemary.
- Coat the zucchini and peppers with some of the oil mixture and set aside. Coat the eggplant with the remaining oil mixture. Season the vegetables liberally with salt and pepper.
- Grill the eggplant steaks, turning twice, for 10 minutes. Grill the peppers for 7 minutes and the zucchini for 5 minutes, turning each once. Divide the vegetables among dinner plates or arrange on a platter. Top with the cheese.
- Grill the bread and slather with the olives. Serve alongside the vegetables.
- Other, Main Dishes