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August 10, 2014

Roasted ratatouille with fresh basil and balsamic vinaigrette {vegan, gluten-free}

Roasted ratatouille, with eggplant, zucchini and pepper. #vegan #glutenfree

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 zucchini, eggplant and pepper. #vegan #glutenfree

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.

Ingredients

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

Directions

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.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]


More eggplant recipes:
Moroccan eggplant salad
Roasted eggplant spread with garlic, pepper and onions
Slow cooker Punjabi eggplant with potatoes
Cold aubergine salad
Caponata

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

Need more creative ideas for using zucchini? Get 23 Zucchini, my e-book packed with fantastic recipes, full-color photos and a few fun videos. With the FREE Kindle Reading app, delicious zucchini recipes will always be just one click away on any computer, tablet or smart phone. Click here to learn more.

Roasted ratatouille with fresh basil. #vegan #glutenfree

Comments

I would love a vegetable meal like this to balance out the cake I've been eating. I adore ratatouille and I love the complexity and sweetness of roasting the vegetables. And adding a mustard vinaigrette. Beautiful!

It sounds delicious! I can't wait to go to the farmers market this week.

Looks like you've made an excellent thing even better. I'll try this, and also as a caponata tweak. Yes, now's the season!

Jamie, I would love a cake for dessert after eating all of these vegetables. Can we work something out?

Kalyn, the farmers market will have everything you need for this recipe! I just bought a wonderful striped eggplant to use in my next batch.

Susan, this would be a great way to make a caponata.

This is such a wonderful way to use up all of those farm stand vegetables. I am always tempted by the eggplants and appreciate having new ideas for ways to prepare them.

Cookin Canuck, I love to buy eggplant but often forget to use it! This recipe makes it easy.

I'm new to eggplant this year... my parents have loved it forever, but once I had it when i was little and it was the mushiest, yuckiest thing I'd ever had. And I never tried again. Until this year when a friend gave me eggplant from her garden knowing how I love homegrown things. Hence, I've been on the search for recipes, and this one seems like a winner!! I'm trying!

This was outstanding. Made it Monday evening, served over quinoa, with leftovers for the next 3 nights. It will probably replace my regular ratatouille recipe. Thanks!

Kim, it's all about texture, isn't it? I hope you like eggplant cooked this way.

Kate, yay! I'm thrilled that you like the recipe.

I used to only make Ratatouille on the stove top but saw a recipe for roasted, tried it and now that's the only way I make it. Never is mushy, so much better.

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