Ratatouille: The early fall special

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Ratatouille: The early fall special

You will find beautiful displays of color at your fall farmers markets. Tomatoes and squash are a great beginning for a simple sauté or something a little more enthusiastic like this ratatouille. I first posted this recipe years ago and have revived it to take advantage of the bounty currently at the markets.

Servings: 8


  • 4 Japanese eggplants, skin left on, sliced 1/4″ thick (slicing on the bias keeps them from rolling on the floor)
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 bell peppers, mixed colors, cut into 1/4″ strips
  • 4 mixed yellow and green squashes – about 3/4 lb, sliced 1/4″ thick
  • 4 red and yellow tomatoes – about 1 lb,  seeded and diced, juice discarded
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons pitted green, Niςoise or Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400°. 
  2. Salt and pepper the eggplant and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a baking dish. 
  3. Add water, cover and bake for about 40 minutes or until soft to the touch. 
  4. Sauté the onions in 1 tablespoon olive oil until they start to brown. 
  5. Add the peppers, season with salt and pepper and cook until peppers and onions are well browned. 
  6. Add the vinegar and garlic and cook one minute. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. 
  7. Sauté the squash in 1 tablespoon olive oil until it is brown on both sides. Add to the pepper and onion mixture.

    photo-1 squash

  8. Discarding the liquid in the baking dish, add the eggplant to the other vegetables. Return all to the sauté pan, add the tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook for about two minutes. If it looks too juicy, pour off the excess liquid into another sauté pan, reduce it until thickened and add back to the vegetables. Allow it to cool. 
  9. Add the capers, olives, herbs, a little more red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper if needed. 
  10. Ratatouille keeps well refrigerated for several days and allegedly improves in flavor over time. It was so good, I didn’t give it a chance to age.