Make the most of the sweet cherry tomatoes and delicious summer veggies and herbs that are around right now and cook up a big batch of ratatouille. Perfect for a light lunch or main course side, plus it freezes well!

Makes 10 cups

10 Tbs       olive oil, divided

4                 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped

2                 yellow onions, chopped

2                 garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped

2¼ tsp      kosher salt, divided

2                 eggplants, chopped

4                 zucchini, chopped

¼ cup       loosely packed fresh oregano leaves

2 Tbs         fresh thyme leaves

4 pints       cherry tomatoes, halved

2 Tbs         red wine vinegar

1 tsp           freshly ground black pepper

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers, onions, garlic and ½ teaspoon of salt. Cook stirring often until slightly softened, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Add 4 tablespoons oil to the pot. When the oil is shimmering add eggplants and cook, stirring often until slightly softened, about 6 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with bell peppers.

Add remaining 3 tablespoons of oil to the pot. Add zucchini and ½ teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring often, until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.

Add bell pepper mixture, oregano and thyme to the pot, stir to combine. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring halfway through until tender, about 10-12 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes and ½ teaspoon of salt, cook covered until tomatoes burst, 8-10 minutes. Uncover and stir in vinegar, black pepper and remaining ¾ teaspoon of salt.

Sue Taggart

As a child growing up in Kent “The Garden of England”, I thought that every family grew their own vegetables. I would help my grandfather in the garden and loved pulling potatoes and carrots out of the soil. These early experiences have given me a great appreciation for where our food comes from and a discerning palette for fresh, seasonal produce. As an avid reader, writing and storytelling is a passion that has only deepened over the years together with a growing concern for the health of our oceans and planet. We are facing serious issues with climate change and the clock is ticking…so it’s up to all of us to nurture and protect our home planet.