Ratatouille is the epitome of summer freshness. Summer's ripest vegetables come to the party of colors and flavors. Serve atop green lentils for a satisfying meal. Also works as a cold lentil salad.
1 eggplant, diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 zucchini, quartered and sliced
1 summer squash, quartered and sliced
4 medium fresh tomatoes, diced (or 28-ounce can)
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons fresh parsley or chives, for garnish
1 cup green lentils
1 bay leaf
To cook your lentils: place lentils and bay leaf in a small pot. Cover with two inches of water. Simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. This will be about the same time your ratatouille is done.
To make your ratatouille: Heat a large non-stick or cast iron saute pan over high heat. Add your eggplant and pepper. Saute until the eggplant start to turn brown, about 5 minutes. If the vegetables begin to burn, pour a couple tablespoons of water into the pan. Add the zucchini and summer squash. Saute until zucchini and summer squash start to turn brown, another 5 minutes or so. Once your vegetables have started to darken, add the tomatoes, garlic, marjoram, and thyme. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer until the water from the tomatoes cooks off and the mixture thickens, about 10 to 15 minutes. By now your lentils should be done. Toss ratatouille mixture with fresh parsley or chives just before serving.