Is the summer a strange time to make ratatouille? All the vegetables in the dish are in season, so I would think it’s the perfect time. However, a traditional ratatouille involves a long cook time using the oven, and the idea of heating up my kitchen in the dog days of summer does not appeal to me.
Instead, let’s grill the vegetables. The delicious smoky char they get from being grilled creates a lovely twist on this classic dish. Granted, this method of preparation will not be as visually pleasing as Remy’s version from the movie Ratatouille, but the flavors in this dish make up for it a hundred-fold.
Since ratatouille is a stewed vegetable dish, it is mushy. Even grilled, the vegetables are soft when fully cooked. In order to create some much needed textural variety, I like to serve my ratatouille on crackers. C’est parfait!
2 onions, cut in half
3 small summer squash, cut into 1/2 lengthwise planks
2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2 lengthwise planks
1 head of garlic
4 tomatoes, cut in half
1 red, orange and green pepper, quartered and deseeded
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, zest and juice
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/4 cup parsley, minced
In a bowl, mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, herbs, salt and pepper. Mix well and set aside.
Preheat your grill and slice you vegetables. Place the vegetables over indirect heat and grill until each are charred and tender. Grill the head of garlic in it’s skin over indirect heat to prevent the garlic from burning.
Remove the grilled vegetables to a citing board. Peel the skins from the peppers. Chop each vegetable into a dice. Remove garlic fro their skins and cut each clove into slices. Add all the vegetables to a bowl and toss with the vinaigrette.
Serve and enjoy!