We made this quick, summer sautéed ratatouille in a wok to quickly cook the vegetables to crisp-tender. You won’t need the heat at full-wok levels, especially if you’re using olive oil (the smoking point is much lower for olive oils). But, using the wok is nice for a quick summer lunch since the pan transfers heat so well and it’s easy to toss the veg in to cook in turn. Watch your heat levels, don’t crowd your pan, and you’ll be all set.
Summer Sautéed Ratatouille
Adapted from Serious Eats’ Spicy Summertime Ratatouille with Mint
Serves about 2 as a main, more if a side.
In this version, ratatouille inspires the flavor choices, but the final version will be more fresh than stewed — so, a perfect choice on a hot summer afternoon. Apparently, the “touiller” in ratatouille means to toss food, so I’m taking that to be license for our toss-in-a-wok approach.
Feel free to add vegetables as you have them on hand. We added tomatoes since they needed using and fit with the ratatouille angle. If you use tomatoes, pick firm ones or use whole cherry/grape tomatoes to avoid having them fall apart in the pan. Or, you know, just let them do their thing.
- 2-4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 3 small Japanese eggplants, sliced into half-moons
- 2 small zucchini, sliced into half-moons
- 1 bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
- a handful of cherry tomatoes, or a small, firm tomato, thinly sliced
- 1 small red onion, sliced into half-moons
- 1 fresh red chili pepper, seeded (or not, if you want a kick)
- 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (about 1/4 of a lemon)
- 1 small handful mint, thinly sliced (chiffonade)
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- Bulgur or couscous, to serve.
Once you have everything chopped, it’s just a series of quick sautés and you’re set.
Get your wok or sauté pan to a medium heat. Add about a tablespoon olive oil and sauté each vegetable separately, combining into a serving bowl as each finishes. You’ll cook the onion, garlic, and chili together, last. Season lightly as you go, and add olive oil as needed between batches.
Start with eggplant, then zucchini, pepper, and tomatoes. Sauté or gently stir-fry just until crisp-tender. Be especially gentle with the tomatoes. Small cherry tomatoes, whole, will work best since they won’t fall apart on you. Last, sautee the onions for about a minute and then add the garlic and peppers together for another minute or two.
Toss with the vegetables and dress with lemon, olive oil, and mint. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve immediately. (If this is going to be your main dish, serve over bulgur, couscous, or a similar grain to give a little extra heft.)