I love ratatouille. It's soft on the palate and easy on the stomach; served with a fried egg and some crusty bread, it makes for a simply, hearty brunch that could easily work as a light supper, as well. Ratatouille gets better the longer it sits, so if you know company is coming, I'd recommend making it the day before—just reheat it in the morning while you're cooking your eggs.
When preparing the vegetables it's important that you cut them all into equally sized pieces, especially the peppers and summer squash, so that they cook evenly. That said, if you end up cutting the eggplant a little bigger, that's just fine—it tends to break down during the cooking process regardless, giving the ratatouille extra body and thickness.
- Yield:Serves 4
- Active time: 40 minutes
- Total time:40 minutes
- 1 medium-small eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups_
- 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
- 1 small onion, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
- 4 medium garlic cloves finely chopped (about 4 teaspoons)
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 zucchini or summer squash, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 bay leaves
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 3 medium tomatoes, chopped (about 3 cups)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil.
- 4 eggs
- Crusty bread, to serve alongside
Toss cubed eggplant with a good sprinkle of salt, place in a strainer and let drain while you prepare the other ingredients.
Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until shimmering. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft, about 6 minutes then rinse eggplant and add to skillet. Cook stirring often until eggplant has browned, about 8 minutes then add red pepper, green pepper, squash, bay leaves, and red pepper flakes and continue to cook until vegetables have begun to soften, about 6 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook covered until all the vegetables have softened and the mixture has begun to thicken, about 12 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and remove from heat. Stir in half of basil. Divide between four serving plates.
Heat remaining oil in now-empty skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add eggs and fry until whites are set and yolk is runny. Top each plate with and egg, season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with remaining basil, and serve.