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Photo credit: John lee PicTures

by chris lilly


r ATATo u i l l e

ratatouille is a popular dish from the French region of Provence that combines peppers, tomatoes, onions, eggplant, zucchini, garlic and herbs. The flavors explode when using the charcoal grill instead of the cooktop.

INGrEDIENtS Serves 5 - 6 as a main course or 10 - 12 as a side dish Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 1 hour 1 pound italian sausage olive oil 3 yellow squash cut in 1/2-inch pieces 2 zucchini cut in 1/2-inch pieces 1/2 eggplant cut into 1/2-inch pieces 2 yellow bell peppers cut into 1/2-inch pieces 2 green bell peppers cut into 1/2-inch pieces 2 medium onions sliced 1/2-inch thick 3 plum tomatoes diced salt black pepper 1 15-ounce can of cannellini beans 4 cloves garlic, crushed 2 sprigs thyme 1 sprig rosemary 1 bay leaf 1 cup tomato juice


  • 1.

    build a two-zone fire with charcoal by situating the coals on only one side of the grill, leaving the other side void. Place the italian sausage over direct heat and grill for four minutes on each side. remove the sausage from the grill and set aside to rest.

  • 2.

    lightly drizzle olive oil over each batch of vegetables and season with salt and pepper. grill each batch of vegetables over direct heat in a grill basket stirring every 2 minutes until they soften and brown. Pour vegetables into a 9 x 13-inch baking pan as they are removed from the grill.

  • 3.

    Dice the italian sausage into 1/4-inch pieces and add to the baking dish. Drain the can of cannellini beans and stir into the baking pan. Add the garlic, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf and tomato juice.

  • 4.

    Place the baking pan over indirect heat, close the grill lid, and cook uncovered at 300 degrees for 35 minutes. remove the baking pan from the grill and pour the vegetables into a colander reserving the juice. Pour the juice back into the baking pan and reduce by half over the hot coals or until the sauce thickens. Add the vegetables back into the baking pan and stir coating with the reduced sauce. season with salt and pepper and serve.

Chris Lilly, vice president of Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q, is one of America’s best-known barbecue pitmasters. He has appeared on The Today Show, Live with Regis and Kelly and The Martha Stewart Show as well as numerous Food Network programs. Lilly has been featured in Food and Wine, The New York imes, Relish, Southern Living, ravel and Leisure, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.

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