Michel Richard's Laurence's Ratatouille
- 4 tbsp olive oil, plus more as needed
- 1 medium to large eggplant, peeled and sliced into ½-in cubes
- Sea salt
- 2 medium to large zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced into 1/2-in thick slices
- 1 large yellow onion, sliced into ½-in cubes
- 1 bell pepper, sliced into pieces 1-in long (any color is fine)
- 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes, drained (drink the tomato juice; it’s awesome)
- 1 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
- Freshly ground pepper
- In a large skillet, heat 4 tbsp of olive oil over medium to high heat. When the oil is hot, add the eggplant and toss it in the oil. Season the eggplant liberally with salt, and cook until it roasts to a deep golden brown. Watch the eggplant carefully, tossing often, to ensure that it does not burn. Once it is brown all over, remove the eggplant with a slotted spoon and place it in a bowl to await the rest of the cooked vegetables. Keep the remaining oil in the pan to cook the zucchini.
- Next, place the zucchini in the skillet and toss it in the oil. Once again, season with salt and watch carefully to ensure that the zucchini roasts thoroughly but does not burn. When the zucchini has browned, remove it from the oil and place it in the bowl with the eggplant. See if there is enough oil left in the bottom of the skillet to cook the onion; you may need to add 1 tbsp or so. Put the onion in the skillet, season with salt, and roast until golden brown. Remove the onion and add it to the bowl of cooked veggies. Add a little olive oil to your skillet for the bell pepper, if needed. Then add the pepper to the pan and season with salt. This is the most difficult vegetable to roast because it burns easily, so watch the pepper like a hawk! Keep the heat medium low; it may take a little longer but the results are better.
- Finally, return all the roasted vegetables to the skillet. You may have to find a larger one if they don’t fit. Add the tomatoes and the garlic. Season the ratatouille with several turns of freshly ground pepper and stir so all the ingredients blend well. Reduce the heat to low and let it summer for 30 to 45 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally. The veggies in the bottom of the skillet should start to caramelize. This gives the ratatouille its amazing flavor. Serve warm and then enjoy the leftovers later.