This ratatouille with chickpeas and fennel is among the best I’ve ever made. It’s a recipe for what you might call A Vegan Day. Being a vegan is not my point, and anyway, it’s as easy to create an unhealthy full-time vegan diet as it is to eat brilliantly as a part-time vegan.
When fruits and vegetables are at their best, they give you insight into how the vegan thing can work for you, if only for a day. And given a moderate degree of freshness, most conventional vegetables from ordinary supermarkets can be made to taste good when gardens go dormant.
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Combine all ingredients except oil, chickpeas and herbs in a large roasting pan. Drizzle with oil and toss to combine.
- Transfer to oven and roast, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are lightly browned and tender and some water has been released from the tomatoes to create a sauce, 30 to 40 minutes.
- Add chickpeas, stir and return to oven until beans heat through, 5 to 10 minutes. Add herbs and stir. Taste and adjust seasoning and serve hot, warm or at room temperature.
- 4 servings
- 1 pound eggplant (smaller is better), peeled if you like, and cut into large chunks
- ¾ pound zucchini, cut into large chunks
- 1 pound Roma (plum) tomatoes, cored and chopped, or 1 28-ounce can, drained
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 red or yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded and sliced
- 1 fennel bulb (about 1 pound), trimmed and cut into large chunks
- 5 garlic cloves, halved
- 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 cups cooked or canned chickpeas, drained
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or rosemary, or ½ cup chopped fresh basil or parsley