Ratatouille is a traditional french dish that usually includes tomatoes, garlic, onions, zucchini, eggplant, and a mix of herbs. I love eggplant and though it's usually thought of as a summer dish, ratatouille is flavorful, hearty, and satisfying.
While Seth caramelized onions and fried bacon for burgers, I started by cubing the tomatoes, onion and cutting the zucchini and eggplant into sizable chunks.
According to Wikipedia there is some debate as to how ratatouille should be cooked - Julia Child took a layering approach where the eggplant and zucchini are layered between a sauce of onion, garlic, and tomatoes and baked. Another approach is to layer it and then simmer it in a large pan.
I sautéed it, which is the simplest approach and the only way I have seen ratatouille served. I began with the onions sauteing them in olive oil for 5 minutes or until slightly translucent. Next I added the bell peppers and garlic and simmered covered for 3 more. Then I added the zucchini and eggplant with little more olive oil to the pan and allowed those to meld for 10 minutes. Lastly, I added the spinach and tomatoes along with a handful of springs of fresh thyme, allowing it to cook another 10 minutes or so until the tomatoes just began to breakdown.
A little balsamic vinegar (Mediterranean spin), salt, and pepper to finish. And as the french would say - voilà! The perfect side for the perfect burgers.