“I can’t make ratatouille without thinking of Remy, the adorable cartoon rat,” says Rach.
- One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
- A few leaves of fresh basil, torn
- ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 medium eggplant, cut into bite-size pieces
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped out with a spoon, sliced into large bite sized pieces
- 1 red field pepper or red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 cubanelle pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 red or yellow onion, chopped
- 1 cloves garlic, sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
- ½ cup white wine
- 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- One 10- to 12-inch loaf ciabatta, halved horizontally
- About 1 ½ cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- A handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 2 cups shredded Gruyere, about ½ pound
Place the eggplant in a strainer. Sprinkle with salt. Let stand for 5 minutes. Using your hands, press out any excess liquid.
In a large Dutch oven or deep cast-iron skillet, heat the oil, three turns of the pan, over medium-high. Add the zucchini, peppers, onion, garlic, and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the eggplant. Cook until the vegetables are tender, 7 to 8 minutes more. Add the wine. Cook, stirring often, until absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes with juices and the basil. Let the ratatouille simmer over medium-low so the flavors can meld while you make the garlic bread.
Preheat the broiler. In a small saucepan, cook the butter, oil, and garlic over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the butter is infused with the garlic, about 2 minutes. On a rimmed baking sheet, arrange the bread in an even layer. Broil until lightly browned, about 2 minutes per side. Liberally brush the cut sides of the bread with the garlic butter. Top with the parm and parsley. Broil until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Let cool for a minute. Cut into bite-sized pieces. Arrange in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Top with the ratatouille, then the Gruyere and Parm. Broil until brown, about 5 minutes.