3 medium sized eggplants, cut into circular slices
4 zucchinis, cut into circular slices
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
1 onion, cut into slices
4 tomatoes, separate the seeds and cut into cubes
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme
1 teaspoon of Herbes de Provence
1 teaspoon of sugar
salt and pepper to taste
- In a stainless steel bowl, toss the eggplant slices with 1 teaspoon of salt. Let stand for 30 minutes. Rinse, drain and dry well. Do the same for the zucchini slices.
- In a large saute pan over a medium heat, pan fry the eggplant and then zucchini slices with olive oil one layer at a time for 1-2 minutes per side until brown very lightly. Remove to a side dish.
- In the same skillet, cook the onion and peppers slowly in olive oil for about 10 minutes, until tender but not browned. Stir in the garlic and season to taste.
- Add the diced tomatoes, tomato pulps, sugar, herbes de provence and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the skillet and cook over low heat for 5 minutes or until tomatoes have begun to render their juice. Uncover, baste the tomatoes with the juices, raise the heat and boil for a couple minutes until the juice is reduced by half. Set aside to a bowl.
- Using the same skillet, put half of the tomato mixture in the bottom of the pan and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of parsley. Arrange half of the eggplant and zucchini slices on top in a circular pattern, then the remaining tomato mixture and parsley. Put in the rest of the eggplant and zucchini on top, again in a circular pattern.
- Cover the skillet and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Uncover, tip skillet and baste with the rendered juice and cook for another 15 minutes. By this time, most of the juices will be evaporated.
- We decided save the ratatouille until the next day as it seems to gain flavor when reheated (according to Julia). Using the back of a soup spoon (or a laddle), make a couple of identation wells in the vegetable mixture and break an egg into each well. Cover the pan and put the skillet into a 400F oven for six to eight minutes (until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still runny).