Roasted Eggplant Ratatouille with Poached Egg

July 28, 2009


Last night, I tried my first recipe from The Homemade Life: Roasted Eggplant Ratatouille. Ratatouille is a dish that originates in the French region of Provence, combining eggplant, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, zucchini, garlic, and herbs – all simmered in olive oil. (It is also a delightful children’s movie!) Wizenberg suggests serving it with a poached egg atop, so I turned to The Gourmet Cookbook by Ruth Reichl. Both sources delivered beautifully, presenting Tyler and I with a delicious dinner that featured summer vegetables-a-plenty, paired with a protein and some Cheever’s rolls. Delicious! I was terrified of poaching an egg, but it turned out that all I needed was acute attention and confidence! The flavors of the fresh thyme and basil scented the vegetables, cooking everything into a melody of savory goodness.

Roasted Eggplant Ratatouille with Poached Egg
(adapted from A Homemade Life and The Gourmet Cookbook)
Yield: 4 servings

1 pound eggplant, sliced crosswise into 1-inch-thick rounds
Olive Oil
1 pound zucchini, trimmed, halves lengthwise, and sliced into 1/2-inch-thick half-moons
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
5 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt + more for seasoning
3 springs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil

Position rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat to 400 degrees.

Arrange the eggplant rounds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour 2 tablespoons olive oil in s small bowl and brush onto eggplant. Flip the slices and brush the second sides as well, taking care that each has a thin coating of oil. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping the slices halfway through, until lightly browned on each side. Remove from the oven and cool. Cut into rough 1-inch pieces and set aside. (This can be down a day or two ahead, refrigerating the eggplant until you are ready to use it.)

Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or large, deep skillet. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and just tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove it from the pan, taking care to leave behind any excess oil, and set it aside.

If there is no oil left, add about 1 tablespoon of oil. Reduce the heat to medium, and add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, but not browned, about 6 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt, thyme, and bay leaf and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the eggplant and zucchini, stir to incorporate, cover and cook until everything is just tender, 15 to 20 minutes more.

Meanwhile, butter the bottom of a 2 quart heavy saucepan. Add 11/4 inches water and 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar. (The acid makes the whites set faster.) Bring water to a simmer. Break one egg into a small bowl and slide into water. Poach at a bare simmer until egg whites are firm but yolks are still runny, 2 to 3 minutes.

After it is cooked, transfer egg with a  slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Repeat with as many eggs as desired.

Return to the Ratatouille, taste, and adjust the seasonings as necessary. Discard the bay leaf, and stir in the basil.

Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature, with addition salt for seasoning, and the poached egg atop. Also, crusty bread is necessary for sopping up all the wonderful juices at the bottom of the bowl!


2 Responses to “Roasted Eggplant Ratatouille with Poached Egg”

  1. amberlainey said

    and you’re back sisterdear!
    so, so glad.

    p.s. yum, yummy. might i come over for dinner?

  2. Clarissa said

    Definitely a dish you don’t just want to “hork” down! (if you haven’t seen the movie Ratatouille, you won’t get that, but if you have, it might make you smile!)

    Looks yummy, dear one.

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