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posted: 5/15/2013 6:00 AM

Ratatouille Tian

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1 1/3 pounds small eggplants

Fine sea salt

3 teaspoons herbes de Provence (or a mix of dried thyme, rosemary, basil and/or oregano), divided

1 1/3 pounds medium zucchini

1 pounds plum tomatoes

Olive oil

2 small yellow onions, thinly sliced

8 fresh sage leaves, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

One hour before you plan to cook, cut the eggplants crosswise into rounds about 1/8 inch thick. Set the rounds in a colander, then sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Toss to coat, then let rest in the sink for 1 hour to allow some of the moisture to be drawn out of the slices.

With kitchen or paper towels, pat the eggplant slices dry. Set the slices in a bowl and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the herbes de Provence.

Cut the zucchini and tomatoes crosswise into 1/8-inch rounds. Place in 2 bowls and sprinkle each with teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon of the herbes de Provence.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat an 8-by-10-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with olive oil. Scatter the sliced onions evenly over the bottom. Sprinkle with teaspoon salt and a touch of olive oil.

Arrange a row of overlapping tomato slices along one side of the dish. Pack them in tightly so that they are almost upright. Sprinkle with a little sage and garlic. Follow with a row of overlapping eggplant slices alongside it, then a row of zucchini slices, sprinkling each with a little sage and garlic as you go. Repeat the pattern until you've filled the dish and used up all the vegetables, packing the rows of vegetables together very tightly. If you have vegetables remaining at the end, slip them among their peers to flesh out rows that seem to need it. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, cover loosely with foil, and bake 30 minutes.

Increase the heat to 425 degrees and bake for another 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the vegetables are tender and the tips of the slices are appealingly browned, about another 30 minutes. Serve hot, at room temperature, or chilled.

Serves six.

Nutrition values per serving: 120 calories, 5 g fat (1 g saturated), 17 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 4 g protein, 0 cholesterol, 660 mg sodium.

Adapted from Clotilde Dusoulier's "The French Market Cookbook," Clarkson Potter, 2013)

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