Ratatouille Three Ways

This isn’t so much a recipe as a concept–one that employs the summer’s bounty and yields a nice supper, brunch for two, and an afternoon snack, all with minimal effort.

Make Ahead: 1) Crank the oven up to 400 and chop up whatever summer vegetables you have on hand. I used zucchini, yellow squash, fairy tale eggplant, and the roots and bulb of a bunch of baby fennel (which, YUM). 2) Toss the vegetables with a good quantity of olive oil, salt and pepper in a large roasting pan and pop it in the oven. 3) Let cook until you start to smell something really good. Give the vegetables a good stir and return to the oven until they are soft and nicely browned. This can be done a day ahead of time.

Summer Vegetables for Roasting

For Dinner: 1) sauté onion, garlic and red pepper flakes in some olive oil. 2) Add some chopped fresh tomato and cook just briefly before adding some of your roasted vegetables. 3) Stir in some freshly boiled al dente pasta, allowing a little of the pasta water to form a loose sauce. (I was feeding a friend who avoids gluten, so I went with a brown rice pasta, which was surprisingly tasty and toothsome.) 4) Cook for a minute or so, remove from heat, and toss with some fresh basil. 5) Serve with a nice dollop of ricotta cheese.

For Brunch the Next Day: 1) Set the oven to 400 and repeat steps one and two above, adding in all of your leftover roasted vegetables and substituting a fresh jalapeño for the red pepper flakes if you happen to have one on hand. 2) Stir in some fresh basil. 3) Reserve about a third of the mixture and spoon the rest into individual baking dishes, forming a hollow in the center. Crack a couple of eggs into each dish and pop into the oven until the eggs are just set.

Ratatouille Shirred Eggs Before

Ratatouille Shirred Eggs

For an Afternoon Snack: 1) Toast some nice bread in a dry cast iron skillet over medium heat. 2) Top with the last of your ratatouille.

Ratatouille Bruschetta

And that, my friends, is how you consume two zucchini, two yellow squash, a large bunch of baby fennel, half a pound of eggplant, three onions, a head of garlic, a bouquet of purple basil, and one jalapeño pepper in 24 hours.

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