I've been gone for a long, long time. But that doesn't mean I haven't been cooking. In fact, I've been cooking more, which is one of the reasons I've had less time to tell you about it.
Getting straight to the point, I'm going to post the recipe that sparked my return to this blog. It's simple and unfussy, just the kind of supper I'm always in the mood for. It's a creamy, velvety ratatouille made with oven-roasted vegetables, their insides silken and tender. And on top, a perfectly poached egg whose runny yolk serves as a blanket of sauce.
1 large eggplant, sliced into 1/2" rounds
2 zucchini, sliced into 1/2" rounds
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
2 red bell peppers, seeded and quartered
1 can diced tomatoes, preferably San Marzano brand
2 Tb fresh thyme
1 tb dried oregano
Salt and pepper, to taste (this takes a lot of salt)
1. Place rounds of eggplant on a large baking sheet. Toss with olive oil to coat, and season with salt and pepper. Roast in a 400-degree oven for appoximately 30 minutes, until soft and lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool.
2. Repeat with zucchini rounds and red bell pepper quarters. After eggplant, zucchini, and red pepper have been removed from oven and cooled, dice the cooled pieces.
3. In a skillet, heat 1 Tb olive oil and saute diced onions until soft. Add eggplant, zucchini, red pepper, and canned tomatoes to pan. Stir. Add thyme, oregano, salt and pepper, and heat through on very low heat until flavors permeate entire dish. Ratatouille is done when all vegetables are soft and fully flavored.
4. Serve in a dish with a poached egg on top. (To poach egg: Bring a pot of water to a near-simmer. Add a couple drops of vinegar to water. Swirl water in a circle with a large spoon, and gently place cracked egg in swirling water. Cook at a near-simmer for 2-3 minutes, and then quickly dunk in an ice bath to stop the yolk from cooking. Place on a paper towel to pat dry, and serve immediately.)