1 ½ Tbsp Olive Oil
1 large white onion, chopped small
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 eggplant, cut into bite sized pieces
2 small zucchini, cut into bite sized pieces
2 red bell peppers, chopped small
Fresh basil, sliced thinly
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp fennel seeds
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Be sure to wash all vegetables before preparing this recipe.
2. In a large skillet or sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion, garlic, thyme, oregano, coriander, and fennel. Be sure to stir frequently to prevent burning. Return heat to medium low. Cook onion until softened, fragrant, and translucent or almost see through.
3. Add remaining olive oil to the pan, bringing heat back up to medium for one minute. Add eggplant, tossing to incorporate. Once eggplant softens, or a fork is easily inserted and removed, add the chopped zucchini and bell peppers. The smaller the chopped vegetables, the quicker they will cook in the pan. Cook the eggplant, zucchini, peppers, and onions for an additional 5 minutes on low heat with a lid atop the pan, or until all of the vegetable have begun to soften and break down.
4. Remove lid from pan carefully as steam will be created. Carefully remove the stems from the tomatoes with a small knife. Chop the tomatoes into small pieces OR blend using a stick blender or stand up blender until the tomatoes resemble a chunky tomato sauce. Add the tomatoes to the pan and cook the ratatouille for an additional 10 minutes over low heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Remove lid carefully once again and turn the heat off the pan. Let sit for 3 minutes. Toss the chopped basil into the pan and stir to incorporate. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
**Tip - To crush the cloves of garlic, place the garlic on your cutting board and apply pressure from the palm of your hand over the flat side of your knife. Once crushed, remove the skin from the cloves and chop small. Set aside.**