When eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes all show up at the farm stand at exactly the same time, my cooking brain goes right to ratatouille (rat-a-too-eee), the Provencal vegetable stew that fills omelets, tops rice, and snuggles up to grilled fish or chicken. I've made pots and pots of ratatouille in my day, some in the slow cooker, some with chicken, and while I love it, I'm not always in the mood for something stew-ish. I decided to try a different method; I diced and roasted a variety of summer squash I found in the kitchen -- a green zucchini, a yellow crookneck squash, and a pattypan -- with an onion, bell pepper, and eggplant. Then, I tossed the roasted vegetables with fresh tomatoes and some basil from the garden, plus a mustardy vinaigrette. The result was more like a salad than a stew. The next day, I combined the leftover vegetables with white beans and cooked shrimp, added a bit more dressing, and created a spectacular one-dish dinner, perfect for a summer night.
Roasted ratatouille with fresh basil and balsamic vinaigrette
From the pantry, you'll need: onion, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, agave nectar, extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt, fresh black pepper.
Serves 4; can be multiplied.
1 medium purple eggplant, or 2 thin Japanese eggplant, cut into 3/4-inch dice
3 large (but not boat sized) summer squash: zucchini, yellow squash, patty pan, or a mix, diced
1 large onion, cut into 3/4-inch dice
1 red bell pepper, cut into 3/4-inch dice
2-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1-2 ripe tomatoes, cut into 3/4-inch dice, or a large handful of cherry tomatoes
3-4 Tbsp shredded fresh basil leaves
For the vinaigrette:
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp mild agave nectar
1-1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil (not fruity)
Pinch each of kosher salt and fresh black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Spread the eggplant, squash, onion and bell pepper on the baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and fresh black pepper, and toss with extra virgin olive oil. Spread in a single layer. Roast for 45 minutes, turning the vegetables once.
While the vegetables are cooking, place all ingredients for the vinaigrette in a jar with a tight-fitting lid, and shake the jar vigorously until the dressing has emulsified (thickened).
When the vegetables are done, transfer them to a large mixing bowl. Add the tomatoes and fresh basil, and toss with as much of the vinaigrette as you need (but not too much).
Serve hot, at room temperature, or chilled.
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Caramelized balsamic onion and gruyere pizza, from Just a Taste
Crockpot chickpea stew with balsamic caramelized onions, from Cookin' Canuck
Balsamic onion and roasted garlic jam, from Dinner with Julie
Grilled asparagus and spring onions with Dijon vinaigrette, from Former Chef
Roasted beets with Dijon and feta, from Our Life in the Kitchen
Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.