Ratatouille is a classic French melding of late harvest vegetables, starring creamy eggplant, sweet bell peppers, not-too-huge zucchini, and super-ripe tomatoes. The recipe varies, from a stovetop stew to a grilled platter of tender and slightly charred veggies. Mediterranean herbs—oregano, thyme, rosemary, and lavender—often scent this glorious blend of sun-kissed vegetables. Add some rich chicken thighs, brushed with an olive vinaigrette, to round out a perfect autumn patio meal.


Makes 4 servings


¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup white balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons finely chopped pitted Kalamata olives

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

½ teaspoon finely shredded lemon zest

½ teaspoon dried herbes de Provence, crushed

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


6 large (about 20 ounces) boneless skinless chicken thighs

1 medium eggplant, sliced crosswise (1/2 inch thick)

2 small zucchini, sliced lengthwise (1/4 inch thick)

1 large bell pepper, cut into quarters

1 medium onion, cut into wedges

2 small tomatoes, cut into wedges

1/3 cup (about 2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese

Caper berries, briny olives, and lemon wedges, if desired


  1. Heat grill to medium-high heat. Whisk 2 tablespoons olive oil and remaining dressing ingredients together in small bowl; set aside. Brush chicken, eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, and onion with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Place chicken on grill; cook about 20 minutes, turning once, until no longer pink in center and juices run clear. Arrange eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, and onions around chicken; cook, turning once or twice, until tender and charred.
  3. Arra nge chicken, grilled vegetables, and tomatoes on large plate. Drizzle with dressing, sprinkle with cheese, and garnish with capers, olives, and lemon.

© Lisa Golden Schroeder, Foodesigns.com