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Ratatouille with Oven-Poached Eggs
"One of my favorite kitchen hacks? Making poached eggs in the oven for a few or for a crowd. For me, 10 minutes for soft eggs and 12 for medium is the timing that works best. The baking time will vary based on weather and altitude." — Rachael Ray
1 firm medium eggplant
2 medium zucchini
¼ cup olive oil
2 sweet red Italian frying peppers, red field peppers (large rectangular sweet peppers) or red bell peppers—quartered lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced
1 package (1 qt.) Capri or cocktail tomatoes, quartered
1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
¼ cup mixed fresh herbs (such as rosemary, thyme, tarragon and parsley), finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or chopped
1 fresh red finger chile pepper, chopped, or 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
8 large Araucana eggs or other organic eggs
Crusty baguette, for passing
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°.
Using a vegetable peeler, peel half of the skin off the eggplant in long strips, leaving strips of skin between each peeled section . (The eggplant will look striped.) Trim off the top and slice the eggplant lengthwise into 6 planks . Halve each plank lengthwise, then slice the planks crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide batons . Salt the eggplant and let drain on paper towels for 10 minutes; press out any excess liquid.
Halve the zucchini lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Slice the zucchini into 1/4- to 1/2-inch-thick half-moons.
In a large deep skillet, sauté pan or Dutch oven, heat the oil, about four turns of the pan, over medium-high. When the oil is hot and ripples, add the eggplant, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, onion, herbs, garlic and chile; season with pepper. Cook, stirring the ratatouille frequently, until the vegetables are crisp-tender, 15 to 18 minutes.
Add about 1 tbsp. room-temperature or warm water to 8 muffin cups. Working with 1 egg at a time, crack each into a ramekin to check for bits of shell, then pour into the muffin cups. Bake for 10 minutes for soft eggs and 12 for medium.
Serve the ratatouille in shallow bowls topped with 2 poached eggs per serving. Pass the warm baguette at the table.