“Half-roasted” sounds kind of like “half-baked,” as in “Where did you come up with that crazy idea?” This half-roasted ratatouille, however, is not crazy at all. It’s just a combination of roasted and fresh vegetables, the best of both worlds, dressed with a tomato vinaigrette. You should really try it. Not only because it is not chametz, gluten-free, and it does not make crumbs, but because it is really yummy.
I started making ratatouille a few years ago because the main ingredients are popular and inexpensive in this Mediterranean country. Eggplant (aubergines in the Queen’s English), bell peppers, zucchini (courgettes), tomatoes, onion, garlic, and fresh herbs are staples here. You’ll find them in many of my recipes, such as my home-made tomato sauce and ratatoille-inspired Mediterranean grain bowl. In a classic ratatouille, these vegetables would be cooked into a stew. The flavors meld together and are subdued. Roasting, in contrast, helps the vegetables retain their maximum flavor, both individually and when they’re together in a salad. No vegetable identity crises here.
Why half-roasted? In a salad, I prefer the texture and flavor of fresh tomatoes over cooked. Ditto for the fresh herbs. Now that spring is in the air, we’re leaning towards more salads than stews. Cooked–or roasted–vegetables, are likely to leave you feeling fuller than raw. Raw and roasted veggies dressed with a tomato vinaigrette. I love the balance.
This is a perfect side dish for Passover, or all year long! And it’s nearly fat-free!
To make it a meal, add some chickpeas and serve over couscous or quinoa.
Half-Roasted Ratatouille Recipe
1 medium eggplant
2-3 yellow, red, or orange bell peppers (or 1 of each color)
1 head garlic
1/2 cup chopped parsley or cilantro
1/2 cup chopped scallions
2 T balsamic vinegar
2 T tomato paste
salt and pepper
- Cut eggplant, peppers, onion, and zucchini into bite-size pieces and spread on a cookie sheet lined with baking paper. Spray with cooking spray or drizzle olive oil on the vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Wrap a whole head of garlic in foil and place on the cookie sheet with the vegetables. Bake for about a half hour, until the edges of the veggies are brown. Let cool.
- Put roasted vegetables, chopped tomatoes, and chopped herbs into a bowl. Toss with dressing:
- To make the dressing, mix balsamic vinegar and tomato paste. Cut off the base of the head of garlic and squeeze the roasted garlic out of the peel. Mash and mix it into the dressing. Add salt and pepper if desired. Pour over salad and mix gently.