My version of this classic rustic French eggplant and pepper stew amps up the flavor with oregano, chipotle, and black olives. Cook it with set-and-forget ease in your slow cooker. This recipe makes a lot, but you can change it up with variations below or just freeze the extra.
Active time: 20 minutes. Total time: 4 to 8 hours. Makes 9 cups, serves 12. Vegan, gluten free, no added sugar.
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
2 pounds firm globe eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 pound green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
one 28-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
8 ounces black olives, sliced
- Pour oil into a 3-quart or larger slow cooker. Stir in chipotle pepper. (This helps the flavor carry.) Stir in remaining ingredients except olives. Cover the slow cooker.
- Cover slow cooker and turn it on, choosing the setting based on your schedule: low to be ready in 8 hours, high to be ready in four, or something in between.
- Ratatouille is done when eggplant is meltingly tender. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve hot in a bowl with sliced black olives on top and a baguette on the side. Refrigerate extra for up to a week or freeze for up to a year.
- Give your ratatouille some support. Serve it on hot baked potatoes, cooked noodles, rice, or quinoa.
- Amp up the protein. Add a half-cup cooked chickpeas per serving.
- Stretch it. Combine 1 cup ratatouille and one 28-ounce can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes for a more traditional pasta sauce.
- Make it traditional. Use 1/4 cup basil ribbons instead of oregano and omit chipotle. Skip the olives too if you want.
- Chill it. It makes a fine side salad or sandwich filling when cold.
- Why am I not using fresh tomatoes in season? I don't want to peel them. If you have a mountain of tomatoes and the time, by all means use what you have.
- When it's really hot, I set my slow cooker on my covered porch to keep the heat outside the house.