Grilled Ratatouille with Chickpeas
This great-tasting dish can be made either ahead of time and rewarmed, or it can be prepared during the meal if you want to take a break and work the grill between dishes. This is wonderful served with Grilled Polenta.
1 head garlic
3 large tomatoes, cored and halved crosswise
1 small eggplant, cut into 1-inch-thick rounds
2 large bell peppers, cored, halved and seeded
2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
½ cup tomato sauce, optional
- Preheat gas grill to medium or prepare charcoal fire.
- Using sharp knife, slice off upper third from garlic head. Place garlic head in sheet of aluminum foil, sprinkle with oil and loosely wrap. Place on fairly hot section of grill and let cook while grilling vegetables, about 30 minutes.
- Brush surfaces of tomato halves with oil and place on grill, skin side down. Brush eggplant slices with oil and place on grill. Trim white ribs from peppers; brush with oil and place on grill, along with halved zucchini. (If there’s not enough room, grill vegetables in stages.) Sprinkle all vegetables with salt and pepper to taste.
- Grill vegetables, sans tomatoes, using tongs to turn frequently, until tender but not overly charred.
- When bell peppers are done, transfer to medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 10 minutes.
- Transfer remaining vegetables to large, shallow, casserole dish.
- Scrape and discard charred skin from bell peppers.
- Coarsely chop all vegetables and transfer to large saucepan. Add chickpeas, basil, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove garlic from foil, squeeze out several individual cloves and chop or mash. Add to vegetables and mix well. (Save remaining roasted garlic for another use.)
- Over medium-low heat, gently heat ratatouille, stirring often and adding a little tomato sauce to moisten if desired. Serve with grilled polenta slices.