Is anyone else in a food limbo right now? It’s still tee shirt weather in Austin, but (since it is November after all!) I’m craving full-on fall comfort food flavors. I’d been wanting to try out this ratatouille recipe for a while, and it turned out to be the perfect fit. Somewhere between a vegetable salad and a stew, it really does pack all my favorite veggies (zucchini! eggplant! bell peppers!) into an incredibly delicious one-pot meal that is just as good served room temp as hot. Oh, and did I mention that I topped this one with super fresh goat cheese that made the whole thing incredibly creamy when we stirred it all around? ‘Cause I did, and it was amazing. A and I ate this for dinner in front of a fire with crusty bread, salted butter and sauvignon blanc…and Chanel and I polished it off the next day for lunch. Follow the jump for more pics and the recipe!

The secret to this recipe is quickly sautéing each of the fresh vegetables so they keep their color and flavor without breaking down too much.

Perfect Ratatouille with Goat Cheese & Basil

*serves 4

  • extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 large eggplant, cut into 1″ squares
  • 5 large garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 – 28 oz can whole tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup shredded basil leaves
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup super creamy fresh goat cheese
  • maldon sea salt or kosher salt, to taste
  1. In a large Dutch oven, heat a couple tablespoons olive oil until shimmering. Add the eggplant and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Add one-third of the garlic, season with salt and black pepper and cook for 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggplant to a plate.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the casserole along with the zucchini and yellow squash and cook over moderate heat until lightly browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Add another one-third of the garlic, season with salt and black pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add the vegetables to the eggplant.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the casserole, along with the onion and bell pepper. Cook over moderate heat until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the remaining garlic, season with salt and black pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, two-thirds of the basil and the reserved vegetables and cook over moderate heat until the tomatoes have broken down and the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining basil and lemon juice. Transfer to bowls and sprinkle with the goat cheese, sea salt and a little more basil. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

*adapted from Food & Wine

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