Recipe: Italian Vegetable Ragout

Heirloom Eggplant

Summer is here, and it’s time to gather those wonderful fresh vegetables from your garden or the market. The following recipe was taken from the 1995 Seed Savers Exchange Calendar, in which all the recipes were provided by Nora Pouillon of Restaurant Nora in Washington, DC, America’s first certified organic restaurant.

Heirloom Eggplant


Nora stated the following about her Italian Vegetable Ragout:

“This eggplant ragout draws its inspiration from ratatouille. Include tomatoes when they are ripe and in season. It’s good eaten hot, lukewarm, or cold. If you happen to have any of this flavorful ragout left, celebrate brunch by stirring some into scrambled eggs—or stuff it into pita pockets, add some feta cheese, and enjoy a memorable sandwich. Serve with steamed Romanesco broccoli or baked beans.”


Italian Vegetable Ragout

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1½ pounds eggplant with peel, cubed
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ pound small zucchini, sliced into ½ inch rounds
  • 3 medium red, yellow, or green peppers, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • ½ cup chopped, mixed fresh herbs such as thyme, oregano, and parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Sauté the onion in the olive oil in a large sauté pan for 3 to 4 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and eggplant, stirring to combine and coat with the oil. Season with salt to release the juices of the eggplant. Sauté until the eggplant becomes soft, about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time. Add the zucchini, stir and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the peppers, the mixed herbs, season to taste with pepper, and sauté for another minute or two. Remove the ragout from the heat while the peppers are still firm. Set aside and cool to room temperature. The heat of the pan will finish cooking the vegetables. Serves 4.

View all the heirloom eggplant in our catalog here.

Feel free to leave a comment below with your thoughts or suggestions for this recipe!

Seed Savers Exchange

The Seed Savers Exchange mission is to conserve and promote America’s culturally diverse but endangered food crop heritage for future generations by collecting, growing, and sharing heirloom seeds and plants.