Italian twist on a vibrant French vegetable stew with meaty eggplant and loads of summer flavor. Vegan, gluten free, no added sugar. Serves 12 (sorry the chart below says serves 4. Only true if you are very hungry!)
Put all ingredients except olives in a 3-quart or larger slow cooker and stir. 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 or see variations below. 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.