Fall has arrived, but there’s still plenty of late-summer produce to be had. In addition to the potatoes, kale and chard I picked up last weekend, I grabbed a few pounds of San Marzano tomatoes, some small eggplant and squash, and a couple of petite bell peppers. I don’t know what I was doing when the great ratatouille craze of 2007 struck, but somehow I missed it and this felt like my last chance to prepare it this season.
My plan was to make crepes and fill them with ratatouille and egg, so while I wanted some texture, I didn’t want an overly-chunky stew. I diced all of my vegetables (1/2 a red onion, one Japanese eggplant, one small green squash and two small bell peppers – one red and one orange) into 1/2 inch dice and set them aside. I heated a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet and added the onion and some salt, allowing it to soften before adding a smashed garlic clove and the remaining vegetables. I added a bit more salt and let them cook about five minutes, and then I added a tablespoon of tomato paste, about 6 fresh San Marzanos, cored and chopped, a splash of white vermouth and a tablespoon or so of Herbes de Provence. I covered the pan and let it cook over medium-low heat for about an hour, stirring it occasionally.
I had put together my crepe batter (Alton Brown’s recipe, but with a pinch of Kosher salt and olive oil replacing the butter) before getting started on the ratatouille so it would be ready to go when the ratatouille was finished cooking. I ended up with 5 big crepes, which I set aside while I cooked a couple of eggs sunny side up in the same pan I had used for the crepes. When my eggs were cooked I laid a crepe on each of two dinner plates, spread some of the ratatouille over each, laid an egg on top and folded them up, serving them with some simply dressed red oak lettuce on the side and a nice, bright Sauvignon Blanc.
This was a light but satisfying meal, and though it takes a bit over an hour from start to finish, it’s easy enough for a weeknight dinner. It also lends itself well to adaptation – while we loved the richness of the runny egg yolk as it blended with the ratatouille, this would be just as good with a little feta or goat cheese instead.