When the vegetables are really wonderful, and we can locally source many of the veggies nearby, we tend to go a little crazy and purchase way more veggies than what was intended.  Fortunately for us, Julia Child's always come to the rescue when we throw up our hands and wonder what to do. Although ratatouille is not a quick and easy recipe, the end result will make you happy to have tried it. This particular recipe is actually a combination of both Julia's and the one from Epicurious. If you are a veggie lover, then you gotta try this recipe.

1 lb tomatoes (2 large)
4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced (or minced for stronger flavor)
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
20 fresh basil leaves, torn in half
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (use more if needed)
1 lb eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
1large onions (1/2-1 lb total), quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
2 assorted bell peppers (1 lb total), cut into 1-inch pieces
2 medium zucchini (1 lb), quartered and cut crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick pieces
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoon minced parsley or thyme
  • Cut an X in bottom of each tomato with a sharp paring knife and blanch together in a 4-quart pot of boiling water 1 minute. Transfer tomatoes with a slotted spoon to a cutting board and, when cool enough to handle, peel off skin, beginning from scored end, with paring knife.
  • Coarsely chop tomatoes and transfer to a 5-quart heavy pot with garlic, parsley, basil, and 1/3 cup oil. Simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes break down and sauce is slightly thickened, about 30 minutes.
  • While sauce is simmering, toss eggplant with 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large colander and let stand in sink 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook onions in 3 tablespoons oil with 1/4 teaspoon salt in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer onions with a slotted spoon to a large casserole dish, then add 3 tablespoons oil to skillet and cook bell peppers with 1/4 teaspoon salt over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Transfer peppers with slotted spoon to dish with onions. Add 3 tablespoons oil to skillet and cook zucchini with 1/4 teaspoon salt over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer zucchini with slotted spoon to bowl with other vegetables.
  • Cover the casserole and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Uncover, tip casserole and baste with the rendered juices Correct seasoning, if necessary. Raise heat slightly and cook uncovered for about 15 minutes more, basting several times, until juices have evaporated leaving a spoonful or two of flavored olive oil. Be careful of your heat; do not let the vegetables scorch in the bottom of the casserole.
2009 Domaine de la Semellerie Chinon
Chinon is the finest appellations for reds in the Loire Valley. Its wines are at least 90% Cab Franc, with the remainder being Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is made with 100% Cab Franc coming from 25-35 years old vines. It has been bottled straight from the vat, without oak ageing.

Tasting notes:
Light purple color. On the nose it shows fresh raspberry, black tea, celery and incense. Medium bodied with a silky mouth feel and flavors of strawberry and raspberry. There is a good dose of black pepper on the finish. Pretty high in tannins and acidity, this is a very food friendly wine (retail $12.99 - AVIN0480934192376)

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