I never know what to do with eggplant. I didn’t grow up eating eggplant and my only experience with it in the past 10 years is either Baba Ghanoush, which I only like about 50% of the time, and an eggplant curry I made last year while pregnant, which my pregnant sensitivity immediately rejected (the smell of cumin made me feel violently ill).
Last year we got a ton of eggplant in our CSA, most of which was donated to friends or our compost, which made me feel guilty because the whole point of a CSA is to a) eat local seasonal produce and b) be creative and make meals with veggies you’ve never tried. Total fail. Plus, I was panicked for eggplant season again this year, which seems to last for at least 4 months. Epic vegetable.
Enter Ratatouille. I can’t believe I’ve made it this long in my life without making Ratatouille until now. It’s one of the easiest and fastest meals I’ve ever made. If everything is pre-chopped, this takes less than 15 minutes to make. So easy. So fast. So delicious.
Interestingly, Ratatouille is an “all-nightshades, all the time” meal. With eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers, 3 of the major nightshade edibles are in attendance. I tend to avoid nightshades, but it’s tough to avoid them in high nightshade season or deep summer. So I’ll enjoy this meal once a week or so for the rest of eggplant season, then I’ll go back to dark leafy greens, the true love of my life.
1 Tbs coconut oil
1 small/medium eggplant, peeled and cubed
1 large zucchini, cubed
2 peppers (red, yellow, orange, or green), chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 small onion, diced
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
oregano, thyme, and basil — dried or fresh, as much as you want
salt and pepper to taste
optional: red pepper flakes for greater spice and heat
Heat oil in a large pot. Add onions and garlic. Cook until onions are soft and translucent, but garlic is not burned. Add red peppers, eggplant, zucchini, and all of the herbs. Mix thoroughly, so veggies are covered with herbs. Stir occasionally for about 5-10 minutes, until veggies are soft. Add in the tomatoes, with salt and pepper. Cook for 2 more minutes, so tomatoes are heated through and the spices are well combined.
Taste and add more salt, pepper, or herbs as needed.
Serve over quinoa, rice, or pasta. Personally, I like quinoa, but this goes with pretty much everything.