Clark’s mother often made this perfect summer vegetable dish after a morning spent at the farmers’ market. There, as in our own garden, peppers, eggplants, and squash are on brilliant display during late summer. Perhaps no dish better exemplifies the principal of cooking with the season than ratatouille. We serve ours with roasted or grilled lamb and with “big” fish such as tuna or salmon.
Mom’s Market-Basket Ratatouille
Arrows Restaurant, Ogunquit
1 medium zucchini
1 medium yellow summer squash
½ cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 large red onion, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
1 small Italian eggplant, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 medium yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
¼ cup red wine vinegar
Cut the skins with about ? inch of the flesh from the zucchini and the summer squash. Discard the cores. Slice the squash skins crosswise ½ inch thick.
Warm the olive oil in a large stainless-steel sauté over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, and salt and pepper to taste. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the eggplant, red and yellow peppers, and sliced zucchini and yellow squash. Sauté, stirring frequently, over medium-low heat until the vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the vinegar, add more salt and pepper if needed, and remove form the heat. Serve warm, at room temperature, or slightly chilled. Once cooled, the ratatouille can be covered and refrigerated for up to a day.