Mediterranean Roasted Eggplant Ragout is simple, delicious, stores well and tastes good warm or cold (as leftovers).  It is best made right now with end of the summer tomatoes and eggplant. Cool evenings will be warmed with this delicious dish. (Although I think any time of the year is great – you can even used canned tomatoes if needed!)

roasted eggplant gratin on plate and fork

This recipe has three stages: roasting the eggplant,  cooking with tomatoes & seasonings  (ragout), and making the gratin.  It is convenient because it can be paused at any stage.  Refrigerate and pick up later in the day or even several days later.

I usually freeze half as this recipe makes a large amount.  The picture below is half the recipe.

What is a ragout?

According to Food and Wine, Ragout is a slow-cooked French-style stew that can be made with meat or fish and vegetables — or even just vegetables.

I usually prepare it as a gratin which means cooking it in a shallow dish and topping with creamy goat cheese or flavorful feta.

Roasted eggplant gratin in gratin dish with one serving gone

Ingredients

  • eggplant – eggplant do not tend to store well so use within a few days  of purchasing – the sooner the better
  • tomatoes  – ripe wonderful in season are best, but use what you have.  Canned may actually be better than fresh  at some times of the year.
  • shallots or onion
  • garlic
  • dried thyme or you can use fresh
  • olive or avocado oil
  • goat cheese or feta  – you can use a dairy free version or just omit and eat right after the ragout stage (without baking) if you desire.
  • spices – I just use thyme to season my  ragout, but fresh basil is also recommended.   If using fresh basil, stir into ragout when it comes off the heat.  Other herbs such as marjoram, oregano will also be lovely.  Experiment to see what you like best!

Preparation

Roasting the eggplant

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Wash the eggplant and cut off the stem end.
  • Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise.
  • On the cut side, cut an X into the flesh of the eggplant, down to the skin, leaving the skin intact.
  • Place the eggplant cut side down on a sheet pan lined with parchment, or other liner.
  • Roast for about 20 minutes until skins are wrinkly.
  • Let eggplant cool until cool enough to handle.   Cooled eggplant can be stored in a plastic bag for a couple of days in the refrigerator.

Making the Ragout (aka Cooking with tomatoes and seasonings)

  • While the eggplant cools, prepare your garlic so the allicin can develop.
  • Wash your tomatoes and peel if desired.  Peeling tomatoes can be time consuming.  But peeling them gives a melt-in-your-mouth  texture to this dish.  I usually do not peel my tomatoes, but it is luscious with peeled tomatoes.
  • Chop tomatoes into about 3/4 to 1 inch pieces.
  • Slice the shallots or onion thinly.  If you  are using a bigger shallot or onion, have your pieces about 1 – 1 1/2 inches long.  
  • Peel the eggplant by sliding a knife underneath one end of the peel and pulling.  If the eggplant is not quite done, a knife will help separate the skin from the flesh. The eggplant will cook more if it is not completely tender.
  • Chop the eggplant in 1/2 – 1 inch pieces.  This is the messy part of the recipe! Roasted eggplant is very sticky.
  • Sauté the shallots in olive (or avocado) oil for about 5 minutes over medium low heat until translucent.  
  • Add the garlic and sauté about 30 seconds, stirring frequently.  
  • Add the eggplant and tomatoes.
  • Cook over medium low heat until thick, stirring occasionally.  This will take about 45-60 minutes, depending on the juiciness of your tomatoes.

Making the Gratin

  • To eat immediately, put in a large shallow dish. Half recipe fits well in a12 inch diameter round shallow dish.
  • Top with goat cheese or feta.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes until cheese is warmed through and eggplant is hot.

The eggplant mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for several days or frozen.  If frozen, thaw.  Spread in a shallow dish and top with cheese when ready to eat.  Bake for about 30 minutes.

Leftovers are delicious warm or cold.

roasted eggplant gratin on plate and fork

Mediterranean Roasted Eggplant Ragout

Simple, delicious, stores well and tastes good warm or cold (as leftovers).  It is best made with end of the summer tomatoes and eggplant. It is convenient because it can be paused at any stage.  Refrigerate and pick up later in the day or even several days later.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
gratin baking 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6
Calories 170 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pounds eggplant 2 large or 3 medium
  • 2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
  • 2 shallots or 1 medium onion (or to taste) thinly sliced
  • 3-4 large cloves garlic minced or put through a press
  • 2 pounds (8 medium size or 4 large) tomatoes chopped, peeled and seeded if desired
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme use 1 teaspoon fresh if available
  • 3 ounces goat cheese or feta* amount to taste

Instructions
 

Roast the Eggplant

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Wash the eggplant and cut off the stem end. Cut the eggplants in half
  • On the cut side, cut an X into the flesh of the eggplant, down to the skin, trying to leave the skin intact.
  • Place the eggplant cut side down on a sheet pan lined with parchment, or other liner.
  • Roast for about 20 minutes until skins are wrinkly.
  • Let eggplant cool until cool enough to handle.   Note: Cooled eggplant can be stored in a plastic bag for a couple of days in the refrigerator.

Making the Ragout

  • While the eggplant cooks, prepare your garlic so the allicin can develop.**
  • Wash your tomatoes and peel and seed if desired.*** Chop into about ¾ to 1 inch pieces.
  • Slice the shallots or onion thinly.  If you are using a bigger shallot or onion, have your pieces about 1 - 1 ½ inches long.  
  • Peel the eggplant by sliding a knife underneath one end of the peel and pulling.  If you have trouble, run the knife under the edge of the skin.  It will come off in strips.
  • Chop the eggplant in ½ - 1 inch pieces.  
  • Sauté the shallots in olive (or avocado) oil for about 5 minutes over medium low heat until translucent.  
  • Add the garlic and thyme. Sauté about 30 seconds, stirring frequently.  
  • Add the eggplant and tomatoes. Cook over medium low heat until thick, stirring occasionally.  This will take about 45  minutes, depending on the juiciness of your tomatoes.

To make the gratin

  • To eat immediately, spread evenly in a large shallow dish, about 12 inches in diameter. (I usually only use half the ragout and save or freeze the other half.)
  • Top with cheese.
  • Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes. Increase baking time to 25-30 minutes if the ragout is cold.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • *use dairy free cheese to make this dish dairy free or vegan.
  • **Allicin is a powerfrul antioxidant that develops when cut garlic is exposed to air for about 10+ minutes.  For more information listen to The Sensitive Kitchen podcast episode or see the accompanying blog post.
  • ***Peeling tomatoes can be time consuming.  But peeling them gives a melt-in-your-mouth  texture to this dish.  I usually do not peel my tomatoes, but it is luscious with peeled tomatoes.

Nutrition

Calories: 170kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 7gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 255mgPotassium: 830mgFiber: 8gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 510IUVitamin C: 18mgVitamin D: 0.1µgVitamin E: 3mgVitamin K: 18µgCalcium: 92mgFolate: 58µgIron: 3mgZinc: 1mg
Keyword egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free
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