In a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat, pour in 1/4 cup of olive oil and heat oil until hot. Add the onions and garlic and saute approximately 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the onions start to become caramelized. Add in the eggplant and fresh thyme and continue to cook for another 5 minutes or until the eggplant starts to cook down in size. If the vegetables start to stick to the bottom of the pan as you are cooking, drizzle in a little more olive oil and stir together until vegetables no longer stick to the bottom.
Add in the red and orange bell peppers, zucchini squash, and yellow squash. Cook for an additional 5 minutes until you see the vegetables cooking down in size. As the vegetables are cooking they shrink in size and start to mush together which means the flavors are melding.
Add the tomatoes, fresh basil and fresh parsley; stir together with the fresh vegetables. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another 5 minutes while stirring to blend all the ingredients and flavors together.
When ready to serve, garnish with the reserved 1 tablespoon of fresh basil and 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley.
Can serve over rice or pasta as main dish or as side dish to accompany meat or fish. Ratatouille can be served hot or at room temperature.
Recipe can be doubled for a larger batch and leftovers can be frozen in airtight container for up to 3 months and reheated when ready to eat.
Makes 5 to 6 servings as side dish or 4 servings as main meal.
* Can substitute green bell pepper.
** Learn How To Peel Fresh Tomatoes.
Ratatouille Recipe: https://whatscookingamerica.net/soup/provencal-ratatouille.htm