Ratatouille is a great dish for experimentation. Although the usual method is to sauté the vegetables, I find that roasting them nets an even richer result.
1 large Spanish onion, chopped
1 to 2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 zucchini, diced
1 large Sicilian or Japanese eggplant, peeled, if desired, and diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 cups diced fresh roma, canned whole, or fresh cherry tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano
¼ to ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley flakes
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Place the onion, garlic, zucchini, and eggplant on a large baking sheet and toss with the oil, salt, and pepper. Cook until they are tender and just beginning to brown. Add the tomatoes and oregano and, if desired, the red pepper flakes, and cook for 10 minutes.
3. Just before serving, add the basil, parsley, and vinegar. Serve hot, at room temperature, or chilled.
From The $50 Dinner Party: 26 Dinner Parties That Won’t Break Your Bank, Your Back, or Your Schedule (Simon & Schuster, 1998)