Recipe: Ratatouille from the Grill

One of my favorite healthy summertime dishes. There are two great advantages to using the grill for most of the cooking:

  1. It doesn’t heat the house up!
  2. You use less oil – raw eggplant is an absolute sponge for olive oil.
  • 2 medium eggplant, sliced 3/4″ thick
  • 2-3 medium zucchini, quartered and seeded
  • 4 medium yellow squash, halved and seeded
  • 2-3 pounds ripe tomatoes, rough chopped
  • 2 red onions, peeled and halved
  • 3 sweet onions, peeled and halved
  • 4 bell peppers (mix of yellow and green)
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme, pulled from the stems
  • 4 stalks fresh basil, coarse chopped

Start prepping vegetables for the grill – they cook at different speeds, and you’ll use a lot of grill space, so clean, core, and slice as you grill.

Add the tomatoes and olive oil to a large pot and bring to medium heat.

Start grilling the bell peppers. Turn the peppers so that they char on all sides, top, and bottom, then place them in a tightly sealed plastic bag for several minutes; the steam they release in the bag helps loosen the skin.  Afterwards, run them under cold water and use your fingers to remove the blackened skin, stem, seeds, and ribs.  Then cut into 1″ pieces and add to the pot.

Continue grilling the other vegetables, turning once so they get good char marks on all sides. Then cut into 1″ pieces and add to the pot, stirring gently.

Add the tomato juice and herbs.  Turn the heat down to low and cook until the tomatoes start to break down, then pull off the heat.

Makes 4-5 quarts.

This is best either cold with bread for lunch, or served warm with pasta, pork, chicken, or flaky fish.  It gets better overnight in the refrigerator.



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