One of my favorite ways to put a dent in summer produce is to make ratatouille. Many ratatouille recipes ask you to roast the veggies in an oven before bringing everything together on a stovetop. To beat the summer heat, I grill the eggplant and zucchini instead; this adds a nice charbroiled flavor to the dish. If you’re worried about the vegetables falling through the grates, cut the pieces a bit larger or use grill baskets or a large grill pan.
- Preheat a grill to medium-high heat.
- Cut your eggplant and zucchini into 3⁄4-inch pieces, keeping the two vegetables separate. Toss each pile with 2 tablespoons of the oil and a bit of salt.
- Arrange the pieces in a single layer on the grill. Cook for 15 minutes or so, using a metal spatula to flip the veggies a few times along the way, until tender and golden. Remove the veggies from the grill and set aside.
- On your stovetop, in your widest pot, heat the remaining 4 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add the onions, peppers, and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt. Cook until soft and a bit translucent, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, garlic, and water. Simmer for 15 minutes or so, until the tomatoes are jammy and reduced.
- Add the eggplant and zucchini to the pot, stir well, and simmer for a couple of minutes, until everything settles in together. Taste and add more salt as needed.
- To serve, ladle the ratatouille into bowls and top with the basil. Add a big pinch of saffron, paprika to taste, or grilled flatbread on the side.
Reprinted with permission from Super Natural Simple. Copyright © 2021 by Heidi Swanson. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Photographs copyright © Heidi Swanson