Published September 1, 2001.
How do you transform an oily, bland vegetable stew into a brightly flavored ratatouille? For starters, heat your oven to 500 degrees.
Ratatouille is usually an unfortunate gathering of problems -- oily eggplant, flavorless zucchini, and watery, runny tomatoes. Cook it briefly and it's pretty but tasteless -- cook it too long, and it's a mushy mess.
We wanted to maximize the flavor and texture of each individual vegetable to create a dish with character.
Salt and press the eggplant cubes to keep them from soaking up lots of oil, then roast them in the oven with zucchini, which caramelizes the flavors and allows the vegetables to retain their shape. Sauté the garlic, onion, and tomatoes; toss in the roasted vegetables; and stir in the chopped herbs at the very end.list of recipes