This recipe is by no means authentic ratatouille. It's really more of a layered vegetable saute, but that just doesn't have the same ring to it. Mostly I just was feeling the desperate need to buy as many vegetables as possible at the greenmarket (how can you not with the bounty as it is at this time of year?) and this was a great way to get a lot of them into one meal! I did a layered version of this since I cook each vegetable separately to not overcook them, but if you want to toss it all back into the pan at the end to mix in the herbs and rewarm everything, go right ahead. This can be a side, but turns into a full meal when served over couscous and topped with the crumbled feta cheese and capers (mmm. I should have fried the capers for some crispy texture. Next time).
serves 4 as an entree
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 TB olive oil
1 medium eggplant, peeled and chopped into 1" cubes
3 cloves garlic, chopped and divided
2 t. Herbs de Provence, divided
1/2 t. fennel pollen, divided
2 zucchini, sliced
3 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 c. chopped fresh basil
Goat's milk feta cheese
3 TB capers
4 servings of cooked couscous
In a saute pan heat 1 TB of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, then add in the eggplant. Cook until tender, but not too soft, about 4-5 minutes, depending on size of cuts. Add in 1/3 of the garlic, 1/3 of the Herbs de Provence, and 1/3 of the fennel pollen the last minute of cooking. Remove the eggplant to a medium sized platter.
Add a bit more oil to the saute pan if needed and return to heat. Add the zucchini, 1/3 garlic, 1/3 Herbs de Provence, 1/3 fennel pollen to the pan and saute until the zucchini is tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and layer on top of the eggplant.
Once again return the saute pan to the heat and add a bit more olive oil. Add in the last 1/3 of the garlic and then immediately add the tomatoes. Cook for about 30 seconds and then remove from the heat. Add the last 1/3 of the Herbs de Provence and fennel pollen and add the basil. Layer the tomatoes on top of the zucchini.
Sprinkle the feta cheese and the capers over top of the tomatoes. To serve scoop some couscous onto a plate and top with the ratatouille.