Ratatouille Dip

(2 votes)

1 large eggplant
2 tablespoons olive oil plus additional for coating eggplant
1 medium-large onion, chopped fine (about
1 1/2 cups)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium red bell peppers, chopped fine (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 medium yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1-1/2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup finely chopped seeded vine-ripened tomato or drained canned tomatoes
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves

Accompaniment: thin slices of French bread, toasted, or crackers

Preheat oven to 400°F. Prick eggplant in 3 places and coat lightly with additional oil. In a shallow baking dish roast eggplant in middle of oven, turning once, 1 hour, or until collapsed and soft, particularly at stem end.

Cool eggplant slightly and halve lengthwise. Scoop out flesh into a bowl and cool. Discard liquid that accumulates in bowl and in a food processor purée eggplant. Eggplant purée may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring purée to room temperature before proceeding with recipe.

In a large heavy skillet, cook onion in 2 tablespoons oil over moderate heat, stirring until softened. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add bell peppers, zucchini, squash, thyme and salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add tomato and cook, stirring, 3 minutes. In a bowl, stir together eggplant purée, vegetable mixture and parsley and season with salt and pepper. Dip may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Serve dip at room temperature with toast or crackers.

Makes about 2 cups

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