Ratatouille in French, Tourlou in Greek or Briam in Turkish. It's a classic, versatile dish that works beautifully as a side dish to a meat or chicken main but can stand alone as the main attraction. Just add good, crusty bread, feta and olives on the side and you're good to go.
Start with onions, garlic and tomatoes and add the veggies of your choice. The traditional recipe calls for eggplant and zucchini but green beans, artichoke, okra can all be added in or used as a substitute.
Fresh, ripe tomatoes are best but if they're not available, chopped canned tomatoes (without herbs or salt) do a fine job as stand-ins.
1/4 cup (plus more for drizzling) Extra virgin olive oil
5-6 ripe or 28 oz of canned tomatoes
2 - 3 medium onions
5 cloves of garlic
2 medium eggplant
3 - 4 medium zucchini
fresh basil leaves
Heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cut the eggplant and zucchini into large cubes or thick strips. In a large casserole, toss with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and place in the oven. Stir occasionally until just cooked through (15 to 20 minutes, on average).
While the eggplant and zucchini roast, rough chop your tomatoes (if using fresh), rough chop the garlic and thickly slice the onion.
In a quarter cup of extra virgin olive oil, saute the onion 5 - 7 minutes, add garlic and continue sauteing for another minute then add the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and cover, stirring occasionally for approximately 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the fresh basil leaves.
Lower oven heat to 350 degrees, combine tomato mixture with the vegetables in the casserole and return to the oven for 15 minutes, tossing occasionally.
Serve as a side dish to chicken or meat or as a main course with crusty bread and feta.