NYC: Ratatouille Brunch Recipe

I love getting my Bon Appétit mag in the mail. One of my favorite things about the magazine is its RSVP column, which prints previously unpublished recipes from the favorite restaurants of readers. I've been calling, emailing, Facebooking, and just plain badgering the folks at Bar Tabac in Brooklyn for a recipe for years, so maybe it's time I just sic Bon Appétit on them. The recipe in question is their brunch menu staple: Eggs Bar Tabac. Baked with ratatouille, merguez (lamb) sausage, and potatoes; I ordered this once while we were living up the street from the restaurant, and no brunch has been the same since.

But enough is enough, so I did my best in recreating the dish from memory. It came out pretty darn good, and we served it to Brian's mom for Mother's Day (last year we served Mascarpone French Toast Bake, also delicious). She loved it too!

Ratatouille Brunch

  • 1 small Eggplant, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (about ¾ cup)
  • 4 medium garlic cloves finely chopped (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 1 pound baby red potatoes, diced
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 small zucchini, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 small summer squash, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound merguez sausages
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, drained or 3 medium tomatoes, chopped (about 3 cups)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 4-8 eggs, sunny-side up or fried

1. Toss cubed eggplant with a good sprinkle of salt, place in a strainer and let drain while you prepare the other ingredients.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until shimmering. Add potatoes sprinkled with cayenne pepper and Lawry's and cook uncovered for about 6 minutes. Add onion and garlic and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are golden brown.

3. Reduce heat to medium, rinse eggplant, and add to skillet. Cook uncovered, stirring often until eggplant has browned, about 8 minutes.  Add red pepper, green pepper, zucchini, squash, bay leaves, and red pepper flakes and continue to cook until vegetables have begun to soften, about 6 minutes.

4. In a separate pan, cook merguez sausages.  Set aside.

5. Once vegetables have begun to soften, add tomatoes and cook covered until all the vegetables have softened and the mixture has begun to thicken, about 12 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and remove from heat. Stir in half of basil. Divide between four serving plates.

6. In a separate pan (can reuse sausage pan), fry eggs over-easy or sunny-side up. Top each plate with one or two eggs and sausage, season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with remaining basil, and serve.

Note: You can prepare the ratatouille itself the night before. Refrigerate ratatouille in glass pan overnight and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes while preparing the sausage and eggs.

Note Numero Dos: make this dish vegetarian by X-ing the sausage and it's still just as delicious.


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