Farm to Table: Grilled Tomato and Squash Ratatouille

As we transition into fall, this is a great dish to serve alfresco style as it is brimming with late summer vegetables yet it is hearty enough to warm you up inside. It's a bit of a twist from traditional ratatouille - it's more stew like and also incorporates grilled bread (some panzanella influence here). I think it is perfect for a casual gathering with friends. You can make it ahead of time or fire up the grill as everyone arrives, and chat away while you sip a glass of wine and cook - which is exactly what I did on Sunday night! It pairs well with sautéed greens and/or a big mixed green salad. Keep reading for the recipe!

Grilled Tomato and Squash Ratatouille 

  • 3 large garlic gloves, minced 
  • 1 tablespoon garlic chives, chopped
  • 3 yellow squash 
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided   
  • 2-3 pounds mixed tomatoes (I used heirloom, plum, cherry and Roma)
  • 1/2 white onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano 
  • 1rosemary sprig, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper
  • 1/2 loaf Tuscan bread or baguette, sliced 
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  1. Preheat your grill on high heat.
  2. Mix 1/2 cup olive oil with minced garlic from one clove, add 1/4 teaspoon chives and pinch of sea salt.
  3. Slice squash in half, lengthwise.  Season with salt and pepper and brush with olive oil mixture on both sides. Grill over medium-high heat for 5 minutes on each side until grill marks appear and the squash becomes tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Cut larger tomatoes in half, crosswise. Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper and brush both sides of  the tomatoes with olive oil mixture.  Place the tomatoes, cut side down on the grill surface. Let cook for about 3-4 minutes. Then turn over, top with olive oil mixture and continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes. 
  5. After you have flipped the tomatoes, place a large skillet on the other side of the grill. Put a tablespoon of olive oil from the mixture into the skillet along with the onion and remaining garlic. Sauté until translucent - just about 3-4 minutes (be careful not to let garlic brown). 
  6. When tomatoes are done grilling, add them to the skillet and lower the heat to simmer. Then stir in the smaller tomatoes that you did not grill.  Now is time to pour in a little white wine from your glass. Add oregano, basil, rosemary, salt, pepper and red pepper. Close top and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and using spoon to break-up the larger tomatoes. 
  7. Roughly chop grilled squash cross-wise, mix into the skillet and simmer for another 5 minutes. 
  8. Brush sliced bread with olive oil mixture on both sides. Place on grill and cook each side about 1 minute, until they are slightly crisp. Break slices in half and mix into the skillet and simmer on low for 5 minutes. 
  9. Remove from heat (carefully as the skillet will be extremely hot). 
  10. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and a few basil leaves. 
  11. Serve warm.
Makes: 6 servings