Spending a few days at a beach town by myself, cooking for one, has been liberating. I walk to the fresh produce stand, pick a few veggies grown locally, and go back to create stove top meals, since the oven does not work. Yesterday I made a delicious fish stew that was ready in 15 minutes. Today I made this dish - a concoction of traditional ratatouille vegetables with a surprise of fresh corn and minimal seasonings. And I have leftovers for a great egg scramble breakfast or lunch tomorrow. Yay!
NB: The use and preparation of the red bell pepper is optional. If you don't feel like using it in your ingredient list, the dish is still very good. —Bevi
red bell pepper (optional)
onion, roughly chopped
large clove garlic, chopped
crushed red pepper
small eggplant, skin on, diced
small yellow squash or zucchini, quartered lengthwise and then roughly chopped
Using tongs, char the red pepper directly over the stove top flame. I set my pepper right on the burner; and turned as the pepper nicely charred. Remove from the stove top flame and place in a paper bag to cool while you prepare the vegetables.
Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute until they start to sweat. Add the crushed red pepper and stir for 1 minute. Add the eggplant and continue to saute - you want all the vegetables to be lightly and beautifully browned. Then add the squash. Continue to brown, and then add the thyme. After a little more browning, add the salt and pepper to taste. (Remember that the feta will add more saltiness.)
While the vegetables are sauteing, remove the charred skin from the red pepper, but allow a little of the char to remain on the pepper. Dice, and add to the vegetable mixture.
Add the lemon juice. Stir everything together.
Add the sweet corn, and immediately follow with the feta cheese. Stir the mixture very briefly to allow the cheese to melt slightly.
Serve heated or at room temperature - it's nice both ways. Serve with a nice bread and glass of white wine. This is a very satisfying meal for one person, and delicious for two with another small side dish.