"As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy, and to make plans."--Ernest Hemingway

Baked Eggplant and Ratatouille Recipe

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This recipe for Baked Eggplant and Ratatouille, by , is from Alice's Restaurant, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We'll help you start your own personal cookbook! It's easy and fun. Click here to start your own cookbook!

Kevin O'Brien


1 large (1.25 lb.) eggplant, cut into inch cubes
Salt • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
2 medium zucchini (about 1 lb.), cut into ⅓ inch cubes
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 red, orange or yellow bell pepper, cut into ¼-inch dice
5 large cloves garlic, chopped
5 large vine-ripened tomatoes (1.75 lb.), cut into ⅓ inch cubes, with their juices
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons fresh chopped thyme, plus more for serving
¼ teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
(Baked Egg Plant)
1 eggplant, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
1 teaspoon Oregano
⅔ cup grated Parmesan cheese (or grated Italian Cheese mix or Mozzarella)
Flour, Egg Wash, and bread crumbs, Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Instructions (Ratatouille)
1. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the eggplant and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until soft and starting to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. 2. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan (no need to clean it). Add the zucchini and cook, stirring frequently, until tender-crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and transfer to a plate; set aside. 3. Add two more tablespoons of oil to the pan and add the onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking for about 3 minutes more. Do not brown. Add the tomatoes and their juices, tomato paste, thyme, sugar, crushed red pepper flakes (if using) and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are broken down into a sauce, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the cooked eggplant to the pan; bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until the eggplant is soft. Add the zucchini and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more, or until just warmed through. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Sprinkle with fresh basil and thyme, drizzle with a little olive oil if desired, and serve warm or chilled. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months (although keep in mind that the zucchini won't stay crisp after being frozen).
(Baked Eggplant)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Prepare a baking dish with non-stick spray.
2. Arrange eggplant into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
3. Season with oregano, salt, and pepper.
4. Bake in preheated oven until the cheese is beginning to brown, about 10 minutes on each side.
5. Fill Casserole dish with hot Ratatouille mix. Crown Ratatouille with Baked Egg Plant.
6. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the entire mixture (you can substitute grated Italian Cheese mix or Mozzarella).
7. Switch oven broiler to high; continue baking until completely browned, about 5-10 minutes.
Serve over Vermicelli or Angel Hair pasta, cooked al dente or to your liking...

Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
I love to make a family meal using cooked spaghettini or Vermicelli. The manner in which I cook my pasta is one that will be consistent to my guests liking. If I am not sure, I boil it beyond al dente but much less than mushy. I also prepare Ratatouille and Baked Eggplant to top the pasta. This dish is especially good if you have these vegetables in your garden! It is a family favorite! Even my Father (who I affectionately called Grumpy) loved it!

Kevin O’Brien, MS, CPFM, CHIA




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