One of my favorite ways to cook eggplant is to use it in some sort of stew with plenty of tomatoes, and maybe other vegetables as well. You could call it ratatouille; in my family, we just called it “ovotsch,” Russian for vegetable. Unfortunately, I don’t have anything close to an exact recipe—it all depends on what’s in the fridge. Sometimes I sauté the vegetables and then simmer them on the stove; sometimes I just cut everything up and roast it in the oven.
This time, I had some grilled eggplant slices left over from one of the season’s last cookouts. I layered the eggplant in a Dutch oven, and topped it with onion and carrot rounds sautéed in olive oil for 10 minutes (I used 1 large onion and 2 big carrots). The third layer was sliced tomatoes, lightly sautéed and well salted, plus a couple of bay leaves, a teaspoon of sugar, a splash or red wine vinegar and a few garlic cloves.
I splashed some white wine and a little water over the top (about a cup of liquid altogether), and baked the whole thing in the oven at 325 for about an hour.
Later, when the vegetables had cooled, I add a splash of red wine vinegar, some salt and ground black pepper to round out the flavor. This should be eaten cold or at room temperature, preferably the day after cooking. Great with potatoes or grilled meat.