Grilled Ratatouille (version II)

1 large eggplant, peeled and cut in 1-inch cubes
1 medium onion, cut in quarters
3 zucchini (or any other summer squash), cut in -inch rounds
2 bell peppers, cut in strips about 1 inch wide
12 paste or plum tomatoes (or 18 cherry tomatoes)
12 to 24 bamboo skewers, soaked in water
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
fresh lemon juice or balsamic vinegar to taste
salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste

1) Thread the eggplant, onion, zucchini, bell peppers, and tomatoes on separate skewers. Keep all of each type of vegetable on separate skewers, and use 2 parallel skewers as needed. Brush the brochettes liberally with some of the olive oil.

2) Preheat the grill for 10 to 15 minutes, with all the burners on high.

3) Once the grill is hot, turn one burner off and turn the other(s) to medium. Position the skewered vegetables over the burner that is turned off, close the grill's lid, and cook for 15 to 25 minutes, turning the brochettes as needed. Some vegetables, such as the tomatoes, will cook more quickly than the others. With the exception of the onions, which should be thoroughly wilted when done, remove each type of vegetable while it still has a little crunch left.

4) As each type of vegetable is done, slide the pieces off the skewers into a large bowl. Halve or quarter the tomatoes before mixing them with the other vegetables. Season the mixture with olive oil, garlic, oregano, and basil. Taste the vegetables and add lemon juice or balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Toss the mixture lightly.

5) Serve the ratatouille immediately, or cover the bowl and refrigerate it until the next day.

Servings: 6 to 8

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