I just got an eggplant from a friend and the only way I can get my dear Papa to eat it is the best peasant dish ever invented - ratatouille. When I mentioned to my kids were having this for dinner, they both thought I meant the movie and got excited. Needless to say they were a little let down when I informed them otherwise. But, once the dish was served they both gobbled it up without argument. I was also very lucky that my CSA share which came in today had some luscious tomatoes and zucchini's to throw in as well - actually, all the veggies except the eggplant were from my CSA. Yummy!!!
1 medium eggplant (quartered lengthwise and sliced into thick chunks)*
1 small onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 summer squash, halved lengthwise and sliced
2 large tomatoes, chopped into big chunks
1-2 T dried parsley
1/2 C water (this is optional, I like my ratatouille more like a stew)
1/4 C Parmesan cheese
Salt & Pepper
1T walnut oil
*Usually eggplant needs to be salted, but I didn't have time to do this. If you want to eliminate some of the bitterness, cut eggplant as instructed, put in strainer and sprinkle with salt then weight down with a plate. Let sit for 20 minutes, pat down eggplant with towel and then it's ready to use.
Pre-heat oven to 350. Heat oil over medium heat in a big skillet with tight fitting lid, then saute eggplant, onions and garlic for 5 minutes. (I like to add garlic at the last minute because it enhances the flavor the less it is cooked). Remove from heat and toss in rest of vegetables, salt and pepper. Sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese and parsley. Cover with lid and put in oven. Bake for 45 minutes, removing lid for last 5. If you want it to be more soupy, add water 1/2 way through cooking by pouring it gently around the edges so as not to disturb the cheese on top. Remove from oven and let sit 5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over each serving.
I serve this dish over rice, but you can also use pasta or just eat it as is with a chunk of bread to sop up the juices. Bon appetit!