Roasted Eggplant Ratatouille

A combination of roasting and slow cooking a variety of vegetables gives an old vegetarian standard new flavors and textures.  You can also make this recipe on a gas grill with a closing lid — that’s how I made it.

Preheat the oven to 400.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix together 1 T. olive oil and 1/2 t. salt.

Cut 4 tomatoes in half and remove the cores.   Cut 1 or 2 Eggplant into small cubes.  Toss the vegetables in the oil/salt mixture, then arrange in a pyrex baking dish or cookie sheet in a single layer.

When the tomatoes are caramelized on the bottoms, remove them from the pan and stir the eggplant.  Continue cooking the eggplant until it is tender and nicely browned.  After removing the eggplant, deglaze the pan with a little red wine vinegar.

Meanwhile, dice 1 onion and 4 stems of celery.  In a large pot, heat 3 T. olive oil and saute the onions and celery.  Peel, core and dice 4 sweet peppers.   When the onions are soft, add the peppers to the pot.  Season with salt and pepper.

Dice another 4 tomatoes and add them to the pot along with 3 minced cloves of garlic.  When the tomatoes are bubbling, lower the heat to a simmer and cover.  Continue to cook for 15-20 minutes, until the sauce is liquid.

Remove the leaves from 1 bunch of basil to make 2 C.  Wash the leaves, then spin them dry and chop roughly.

Add the eggplant, deglazing liquid, tomatoes, and basil to the pot and stir well to combine.  Cook for another 5 minutes, then taste and add salt and pepper.

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