Writers get writer’s block, and folks who cook get… knife block (ha!)? Whatever it is, I’ve had a case of it for the last few days. I try hard to make recipes that don’t require me to buy a ton of new ingredients, but I hadn’t been able to find one that I was interested in making. I finally decided to go through my cookbooks page by page and see what I could find.

And what do ya know –  there’s a delicious ratatouille recipe in a cookbook that I bought at Monkey See, Monkey Read in Northfield, MN years ago. Bon appetit!


Ratatouille 1


  • 2 1/2 cups eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Lots of olive oil
  • 1 cup yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 cup zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 cups thinly sliced onion (about one large onion)
  • 10 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 (28 oz) can peeled Italian tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed torn basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Place eggplant in a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with teaspoon salt. Cover with wax paper and set two soup cans on top. Let sit for 30 minutes, and pat dry when time is up.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add some olive oil (level of heat and amount of oil really depend on how hot your pan/burner is…). Cook the yellow squash and zucchini together until tender and light brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet, add more oil and red and green peppers. Cook until tender and lightly browned – about 7 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Add more oil and cook eggplant until tender and lightly browned (are you seeing a trend here?). Set aside.
  5. Add more oil to the skillet and cook the onion for about 5 minutes. They will soften and start to turn ever so slightly brown. Add the garlic and cook for five more minutes.
  6. Add the canned tomatoes, breaking them into the pan (and being careful not to squirt juice ALL OVER). Raise the heat to high and cook the onion/garlic/tomato mix until it thickens up a bit. This is the part where it starts to smell amazing. Mmmm…
  7. Add the squash, peppers, and eggplant, and cook for about 3 minutes. Stir inthe basil and cook for one minute longer.
  8. Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper. Add more olive oil to the vegetables before serving, if desired.

I highly recommend enjoying this with some slices of toasty baguette.

Source: Adapted from It’s All American Food by David Rosengarten


One thought on “Ratatouille

  1. Pingback: Rosemary Focaccia Bread | A pinch, a dash, and a dollop

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