As summer and fall converge, celebrate the end and the beginning of the seasons with this rich and colorful assortment of vegetables that were meant to be together. All it takes is some chopping, time in the oven and an overnight stay in the fridge for this classic Italian staple to develop intense flavors and wow your family and friends. Enjoy hot over polenta, pasta or rice, serve at room temperature as an appetizer with crostini or use as a topping for your toast in the morning.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place all of the cut vegetables, garlic and herbs in a big bowl. Drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil and toss well. Add the salt and toss again to combine.
Cover baking sheets loosely with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
Remove the foil, lower the temperature to 400 and let the vegetables cook 30 more minutes. Check on the vegetables during this 30 minutes, as you might find the vegetables are golden and cooked to your liking sooner.
Remove from the oven and remove the thyme sprigs. Though you can eat it now, I prefer to let the ratatouille cool thoroughly and then refrigerate overnight, as the flavors will meld and get even better in the days to come.
When ready to serve, you can heat it up in a skillet or serve at room temperature and top with fresh basil. Serve over polenta, pasta or rice or serve with crostini as a veggie-froward appetizer that everyone will love. Refrigerate any leftovers.