The prep time taken for this recipe was totally worth it. My wife called it the best ratatouille she had ever had --- for dinner and breakfast the next day. I returned to Yotam Ottolenghi's Plentyto find and slightly modify this wonderful dish. Cut and chop with a friend if possible.
This really is worth doing.
7 tablespoons sunflower oil, safflower, or canola oil
2 small onions, cut into 1 1/4-inch dice
4 garlic cloves, peeled, sliced
1/2 fresh green chili, thinly sliced --- I used half of a good size jalapeno
2 small red bell peppers, cut into 1 1/4-inch dice --- orange or yellow works too
1/2 small butternut squash, peeled, cut into 1 1/4-inch dice
1 small parsnip, peeled, cut into 1 1/4-inch dice
1 cup French green beans, trimmed ---- or regular fresh green beans if you can't find the haricot vert
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1 1/4-inch dice
1/2 large eggplant, peeled, cut into 1 1/4-inch dice
1 small russet potato, peeled, cut into 1 1/4-inch dice
2 medium tomatoes, peeled, chopped --- I am never sure that it's worth going through the effort to parboil them, douse in ice water, then skin them. Try just chopping them and see if anyone notices.
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup water
Garnish: chopped fresh cilantro
Pour 2/3 of the oil into a large heavy casserole or pot and place on medium-high heat. Add onions and saute 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic, chili and red peppers; cook, stirring occasionally, another few minutes. Add butternut squash and parsnip and continue sauteeing for 5 additional minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, lift vegetables out of pot into a medium bowl, leaving as much of the oil in the pot as possible. Top this up with remaining oil. Add green beans, zucchini and eggplant; cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Return contents of bowl to pot. Add potato, tomatoes, tomato paste and plenty of salt and pepper.
Stir well, then pour in the water, or just enough water to cover the bottom half of the vegetables. Cover with lid and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
Use slotted spoon to gently lift vegetables from pot into a large, deep roasting pan to make a layer about 1 1/4 inches deep.
Pour liquid over vegetables and place in middle of preheated oven to cook for 30 minutes. At this point all the vegetables should be very soft and most of the liquid evaporated. Garnish with lots of chopped cilantro and serve.