Ratatouille

Roasted Vegetables with Capers and Anchovy Oil
I remember coming up with this recipe at a restaurant on the edge of North Beach in San Francisco. My sister was in town for New Year's 2000, and we'd gone to dinner. She had some salad or something that must have had anchovies in it, and although I've cooked with anchovies a thousand times, for some reason it got into my head that if I made a ratatouille with anchovy oil, roasted all the vegetables, and gave it more of a Mediterranean taste, that I might have something pretty yummy.

For 6

Ingredients

3 medium eggplants
7 medium zucchinis (cut into 1 inch cubes)
1 large green pepper (cut into 1 inch segments)
2 medium red peppers (cut into 1 inch segments)
2 medium yellow peppers (cut into 1 inch segments)
10 cloves garlic (loosely chopped)
½ large onion (cut into 1 inch segments)
½ cup olive oil
Oil from two (2 oz.) tins of anchovies
5 sprigs of thyme
Salt
Pepper

14 Roma Tomatoes (loosely chopped)
2 T Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Red pepper flakes
½ large onion (loosely chopped)
6 cloves garlic (loosely diced)
2 T Thyme
2 T Oregano
6 T Basil
3 T Cumin
2 tins anchovies (diced)
1 bottle olives
½ bottle capers
½ cup red wine

Directions

Pre-heat the oven to 450°.

First off, peel your eggplants, and cut them into about 1-inch cubes. Set these onto a few paper towels and sprinkle with a little bit of salt. This gets some of the moisture out of the eggplant. Now cut up your zucchini, ½ onion, and peppers and loosely chop your garlic. Take all these vegetables, plus the eggplant, and put them into a roasting pan. Pour your olive oil and the oil from two tins of anchovies over the vegetables, and sprinkle a liberal amount of black pepper and salt over them. Toss all of this thoroughly, so as to coat all the vegetables with the oils. Then throw your sprigs of thyme on top. Pop this in the oven, and roast your vegetables for an hour to an hour and a half, stirring every 20 minutes or so. You're halfway there.

While your vegetables are roasting, you'll want to make the tomato portion of the ratatouille. Throw your tomatoes, onion, and garlic into a stockpot over medium high heat with your salt, pepper, red pepper, oregano, and thyme. Dice your anchovies. Once the tomatoes start to soften, add in the anchovies, 4 T basil, and 1½ T cumin. After about 10 minutes, reduce the heat and allow this to simmer.

Once the roasted veggies are done, scoop them from your roasting pan into your stockpot. Add red wine, adjust the flavor with the remaining basil and cumin, and add the olives and capers. Simmer for additional 10 minutes.

Serve over couscous in bowls.

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