Grilled Ratatouille (of sorts)

 I love the idea of ratatouille but then often don’t care for how mushy it is; this is my take on it- it’s grilled and a bit more fresh tasting for summer. The tomatoes are prepared separately (adapted from Bon Appetit) and ladled over the vegetables right before eating. The tomatoes would be great in a pasta too (actually the whole concoction would probably be good served over pasta); I served this over rice.

For the cherry tomatoes:

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
3 T extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 shallot, finely diced
pinch of crushed red pepper
1/2 T red wine vinegar
2 T chopped chives
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat the oil, garlic, shallot and crushed red pepper; cook over medium heat until very fragrant and the shallot is softened.  Add the tomatoes and cook over high heat for about 10 minutes until the tomatoes have released their juices and softened. Add the chives, vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.

For the veg:
1 medium eggplant, diced in small cubes (about 1″)
1 large zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced in 1/4″ pieces
1 bunch asparagus (try and get it on the thinner side), chopped into 2″ pieces (don’t use the tough ends)
1 red onion, chopped into large squares

Heat the grill to high;  put the zucchini, asparagus and red onion into a bowl and drizzle a small amount of olive oil to lightly coat the vegetables (I didn’t measure this but maybe 2 T?) and sprinkle generously with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
Put the eggplant cubes into a separate bowl and also lightly drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Grill the veggies separately from the eggplant because the eggplant takes a little longer; you will need a grill pan for this. Grill both, stirring occasionally until nicely charred; the veggie mix should be crisp-cooked but the eggplant needs to be grilled until very soft and tender. Mix all the vegetables together after they are grilled and serve over rice; top with some of the tomato mixture. Did all this make sense??

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