The idea to combine these two dishes is a gift that keeps on giving. I make a large batch because not only do I get several meals for a few days - but I freeze some to enjoy another time. I love to eat it like a bowl of stew garnished with lots of fresh herbs and a little shaved parmesan cheese, and because I make it with Middle Eastern spices, it’s the best side dish for serving alongside lamb Merguez sausages or any other lamb dishes. —Kukla
For the Ratatouille
• A generous 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil + more for finishing
Sprinkle the eggplants with salt and leave in a colander for 1 hour. Rinse and dry well the eggplant cubes.
In a large 12- inches skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Pour about 1/8- inches thick layer of oil in the bottom. When warm, add half of the garlic and spices; cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes, being sure not to let the garlic burn.
Sauté the eggplant and zucchini slices until golden brown; add the onion and pepper slices and cook over low heat until the onion is golden and the peppers are softened.
To make the tomato sauce: Sauté the remaining half of the garlic in a medium sauce pan until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and sugar; simmer for about 15 minutes until reduced to a sauce consistency, but not too thick. Add the tomato sauce to the sautéed vegetables and spices, add the peas, if using, and mix everything very gently. Remove from heat.
Combine bulgur, water and tamari soy sauce in a 2 quart sauce pan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, reduce to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand covered for 5 to 10 more minutes; then uncover and fluff with a fork and let cool to room temperature. When the bulgur is cooled, add the rest of the ingredients one at a time and mix thoroughly.
Combine and gently toss Ratatouille and Tabbouleh in a large mixing bowl until everything is incorporated and well mixed. Taste for seasonings and add whatever is needed to your taste.
Spoon the Ratabbouleh onto a serving dish; scatter the walnuts and some more chopped herbs on top. Serve warm or room temperature, adding a little more olive oil to each plate if desired and a sprinkle of lemon juice.