Published by Knopf
Notice the name's similarity to “caponata.” Variants of the famous ratatouille of Nice are cooked by Sephardi communities around the Mediterranean. This version from Morocco, in which the vegetables are fried separately and then put together in a fresh tomato sauce, is delightful.
Total Timeunder 2 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party
Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, healthy, lactose-free, low carb, low cholesterol, low saturated fat, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian
Taste and Texturegarlicky, herby, juicy, sweet
Type of Dishvegetable
- 2 eggplants, cut in ½-inch (1-cm) cubes
- 2 zucchini, cut in ½-inch (1-cm) slices
- Olive oil
- 2 bell peppers, cut in half, seeded, and cut into thin slices
- 1 large onion, cut in half and sliced
- 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1½ lbs (750 g) tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- A good bunch of flat-leafed parsley or coriander, chopped (½ cup)
Sprinkle the eggplants with salt and leave for I hour to draw out their juices, then rinse and dry them. Very briefly shallow-fry the eggplants and zucchini separately in hot oil until lightly browned, then drain on paper towels. Fry the onion and pepper over gentle heat in 3 tablespoons of oil till the onion is golden and the pepper is soft.
Make a tomato sauce: fry the garlic in 2 tablespoons of oil till golden. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and sugar and simmer about 20 minutes, until reduced to a thick sauce. Stir in the fried vegetables and the flat-leafed parsley and take off the heat. This can be eaten hot or cold.
When it is to be eaten cold, it is sometimes made with a few sprigs of fresh mint (chopped) or I tablespoon dried mint, and some black olives may be added.
1996 Claudia Roden