It’s an August tradition: Roll out of bed, drink a cup of coffee, then head to the garden to see what lies in wait.

Today it was a bowlful of tomatoes, a lapful of summer squash and a handful of green peppers — making the “what’s for dinner” question moot.

Vegetables, of course!

I had some eggplant from last week’s trip to the farmers’ market and a few red peppers lounging in the fridge. Why not make ratatouille?

Yet turning on the stove seemed counterproductive in August’s heat. As a solution, I decided to grill the ingredients. I charred the eggplant, squash, peppers and tomatoes (yes! tomatoes). Tossed everything as it came off the grill with herbs, olives, red wine vinegar and olive oil. Then topped the dish with a sprinkling of goat cheese.

It was summer in a bowl — grilled, of course!

Grilled Garden Ratatouille

Use whatever vegetables you like in this dish. Just be sure they’re as fresh (and local) as possible.

  • 2 large summer squash, cut into 1/3-inch slices
  • 1 graffiti eggplant, cut into 1/3-inch slices
  • 2-3 large tomatoes, cut into 1/3-inch slices
  • 3-4 peppers, cored and sliced into 2- to 3-inch vertical strips
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup fresh herbs, finely chopped (I used cilantro and thyme)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6-7 pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Goat cheese

Lay the squash and eggplant on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with kosher salt and let sit at least 30 minutes.

Heat your grill to high and grease its racks.

Pat the squash and eggplant dry. Drizzle them with olive oil and season again with salt and pepper.

Drizzle the tomatoes and peppers with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

When the grill is heated, place the squash, eggplant and peppers on the racks. (Reserve the tomatoes.) Cover and grill until the veggies are charred, turning every 4-5 minutes:

While the vegetables grill, place the shallot, herbs, garlic and olives in a large bowl. Whisk in the vinegar and oil. Season with salt and pepper, then taste to see if you need more vinegar:

Pull the vegetables off the grill as they finish cooking and place them on top of your herb/olive mixture.

Place the tomato slices on the grill until they’re wilted and slightly charred, turning frequently. When they’re juicy and pliable, remove them from the heat and put them in the bowl. Toss everything together while the vegetables are hot:

Sprinkle with goat cheese and serve immediately.

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