1 large head garlic, top sliced off to expose tips of garlic cloves
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 3/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 large, ripe tomatoes (about 3/4 pound), halved
1 small eggplant (about 1 pound), trimmed and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices
1 large zucchini (about 1/2 pound), trimmed and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices
1 large yellow squash (about 1/2 pound), trimmed and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices
1 small red onion (about 1/2 pound), peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch rings
1 medium red bell pepper, stem, seeds and ribs removed, cut in half lengthwise
1 medium yellow bell pepper, stem, seeds and ribs removed, cut in half lengthwise
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
3 tablespoons freshly minced basil leaves
2 tablespoons freshly minced parsley leaves
1 tablespoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
Freshly grated Parmesan, for garnish
Preheat the grill.
Before preparing the vegetables, roast the garlic. Rub 1 teaspoon of the oil and a pinch of the salt and pepper onto the cut side of the garlic. Wrap in foil and place on the grill. Roast until soft and starting to caramelize, turning occasionally, about 25 minutes. Remove from the grill and let sit until cool enough to handle. Squeeze the pulp from the garlic skins and set aside.
Rub 2 teaspoons of the oil and a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper on the tomatoes. Place on the grill away from the direct heat (or on the upper rack) and grill until tender and starting to char, about 6 minutes, depending upon the heat. (The longer the tomatoes stay on the grill, the smokier flavor they will obtain.) Remove from the heat and, when cool, remove the skin and roughly chop.
In a large bowl, combine the eggplant, zucchini, squash, onions and bell peppers, and toss with 2 tablespoons of the oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Grill, turning, until marked by the grill and tender, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Remove with tongs and let cool. Dice into 1/2-inch pieces.
In the bottom of a large bowl, mash the roasted garlic and 1 teaspoon of oil to make a paste. Drizzle in the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper, and the vinegar, and whisk to combine. Add the chopped vegetables, tomatoes and the herbs, and toss to coat. Serve at room temperature, garnished with Parmesan. (The ratatouille can be made ahead and refrigerated overnight to allow the flavors to further develop.)
Serve atop grilled bread.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 40-45 minutes
Ease of preparation: Easy
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, Food of Love Productions, 2007