It’s August 1st – welcome to Day 1 of the Whole30.
I am determined to not get bored towards the end of the 30 days like I did last year, so I’ve pulled out all sorts of cookbooks (I own over 200) for inspiration. I’m finding it, too! Especially in the classic cookbooks – Joy of Cooking, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Pepin Essentials. This particular recipe is based on one from The Joy of Cooking; in fact, very little was needed in the way of modification to make it Whole30 compliant.
And it is simply scrumptious.
Which is surprising, at least for me – I’m not a huge fan of eggplant. The ratatouille, though, is wonderfully savory and fresh-tasting; something that is not surprising, since we received tomatoes, onions, eggplant, zucchini and bell peppers in our CSA share this week. If it had been any fresher, I’d have had to slap it.
The ratatouille itself is a little time-consuming, although it’s not difficult at all; you can make it ahead of time if you like (I didn’t because we had this for Sunday brunch, a meal that is never rushed in our home; it would also make a marvelous light lunch or supper). Just make sure it’s at least at room temperature before adding it to the ramekins, or the eggs will get done before the vegetables are warmed through.
Note: The eggplant will absorb all of the olive oil when you saute it with the zucchini – you can add a little more oil if you like, but resist the temptation to add a lot. The eggplant will just soak it up and become oily and heavy, which you do not want.
Click on the image to enlarge
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small eggplant, about 8 ounces, peeled and cubed
- 8 ounces zucchini, cubed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup onion, sliced
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
- 6 large eggs
- Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, heavy skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sauté the eggplant and zucchini until the vegetables are golden and just tender, about 10 minutes.
- Remove the eggplant and zucchini from the pan; set aside. Reduce the heat to medium; add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and cook the onion, stirring frequently, until the onion begins to soften. Add the bell pepper and garlic and continue cooking until the vegetables are tender but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Stir in the tomatoes, thyme and bay leaf; return the eggplant and zucchini to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium -low, cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Stir in the fresh basil; taste and season as needed with salt and pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Divide the ratatouille between six ramekins; crack an egg carefully into each on top of the vegetables.
- Place the ramekins in a large glass baking dish large enough to hold them comfortably. Pour boiling water around the ramekins until it comes about halfway up the containers.
- Carefully place the baking dish into the oven and bake until the egg whites are set, but the yolks still liquid, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Remove the ramekins from the baking dish and carefully wipe dry. Serve immediately
- Nutrition (per serving): 169 calories, 11.9g total fat, 186mg cholesterol, 78.4mg sodium, 412.3mg potassium, 8.5g carbohydrates, 2.9g fiber, 4.7g sugar, 7.9g protein