Big Batch Cooking Ratatouille

Serves 3 quarts

You can make this ratatouille base today and serve with toasted crusty bread and poached eggs, or freeze and use later with Ratatouille and Ricotta Stuffed Peppers.
Ingredients
  • 2 firm, medium eggplants, peel half the skin off, then dice into bite-size pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
  • 1 rounded tablespoon Herbes de Provence (a palmful)
  • 2 large onions, chopped 
  • 4 large cloves garlic, sliced 
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 cup vegetable stock 
  • 3 medium zucchini (about 2 pounds), seeded and diced into bite-size pieces 
  • 2 red bell or mild frying peppers, seeded and chopped 
  • 1 can plum tomatoes (32 ounces), crushed by hand 
  • A few leaves of basil, torn 
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley (a fat handful), chopped
Directions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Salt and drain the eggplant on a kitchen towel for about 20 minutes; pat dry.
  3. Heat the oil, four turns of the pan, in large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the dried herbs and stir, then add the onions, garlic and bay leaves and season with a little salt and some black pepper. Cook, partially covered, for 10 minutes, to soften. Add the vegetable stock, eggplant, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes and their juices, basil and parsley. Stir to combine, then cover and transfer the pot to the oven to roast for 30 minutes, stirring after 20 minutes or so. Uncover the pot, stir again and roast for 30 minutes more. Turn off the oven and let stand for 20 minutes more.
  4. Serve or cool and store. Remove the bay leaves before serving.