Perfect for a complete entree on days like today where it is snowing and cold or enjoy all year long as a side dish. Keep it vegan or place over boneless chicken breast, or add a spicy sausage!
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 onions, coarsely chopped
2 red and/or yellow bell peppers, seeded and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1½ teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed
1 medium eggplant, diced
2 large zucchinis, diced
6 medium ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat (or cast-iron pan). Add onions and bell peppers; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and fennel seeds; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl.
Add 1½ teaspoons oil to the pot. Add eggplant and cook, stirring frequently, until browned in places, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the vegetables.
Add the remaining 1½ teaspoons oil to the pot. Add zucchini and cook, stirring frequently, until browned in places, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, thyme and the reserved vegetables and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot and transfer to the oven.
Bake the ratatouille, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 35 to 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot or at room temperature. Garnish with parsley before serving.