Oh my. I have gone and spoiled myself forever. I have stumbled upon the most perfect breakfast/brunch dish and now I want to eat it every day. And I don’t even like eggs!
I don’t remember where I first saw a version of this recipe, but for some reason it stuck in my head. Ratatouille. Yum. Eggs. Not-so-yum, but Iacono chicken farm is right near us in East Hampton, and the farm-fresh eggs continually beckon to me. I eat them occasionally because I think they’re good for ya and I just should-always poached-but there’s nothing enjoyable about it for me.
But the idea of masking an egg with ratatouille? Brill. I looked at a bunch of recipes for inspiration, and found one by Country French cooking authority Anne Willan that got me started. In fact, her recipe seems to be a repurpose for leftover ratatouille. With my crew, I’m not usually lucky enough to have copious (or, really, any) leftover anything, so I started from scratch. I tweaked the recipe a bunch to make it my own, and I hope you find it as yummy as I did!

Ratatouille with Baked Eggs

Inspired by Anne Willan

Ratatouille
    • 2 medium eggplants, peeled, halved lengthwise, then halved crosswise, and sliced into 3/8″ pieces
    • 4 zucchini, cut into 3/8″ rounds
    • 1 red onion, coarsely chopped
    • 1 sweet yellow onion, coarsely chopped
    • 1 orange bell pepper, coarsely chopped
    • 1 yellow bell pepper, coarsely chopped
    • 4 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped (off season, you could use 4 cups chopped canned tomatoes)
    • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 8 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
    • 1/3 cup olive oil
    • Bouquet garni (3 sprigs parsley, 2 sprigs thyme, 1 bay leaf tied together with kitchen string)
    • Kosher salt
    • Fresh ground black pepper
Eggs
    • 6 eggs
    • Drizzle of olive oil
Garnish
    • Fresh-grated parmesan cheese
    • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

Directions

1. Spread the eggplant and zucchini on baking sheets, sprinkle with salt and let stand for about 30 minutes to draw out the juices. Rinse with cold water, drain, and blot dry with paper towels.

2. In a small bowl, mix the minced garlic and coriander with a little salt and ground black pepper.

3. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove pan from heat.

4. Layer the eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes and peppers on top of the onions, sprinkling each layer with the garlic mixture. Spoon the remaining oil over the top and push the bouquet garni into the vegetables. Cover and simmer gently over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Uncover and stir in the tomato paste. Cook uncovered 10 minutes more. Discard the bouquet garni and taste for seasoning.

5. Preheat oven to 425 °F. Spread about 6 cups of ratatouille into a large baking dish. Make 6 hollows in the ratatouille and crack 1 egg into each hollow. Drizzle each egg with olive oil. Bake until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still soft, 10 to 12 minutes. Garnish with fresh-grated parmesan, chopped parsley and chopped basil. Serve immediately.

Serves 6


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