What You'll Need:

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup cooked rye or wheat berries
  • 2 tablespoons oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 cup small diced yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 large diced eggplant, skin on
  • 2 diced sweet bell peppers, any color
  • 2 summer squash (yellow or zucchini for example), sliced
  • 1 quart tomatoes, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 14 oz can cannellini beans, rinsed

Optional ingredients:

  • 2 cups greens, such as crisp fresh salad greens or sautéed cooking greens like kale
  • Grated mozzarella or tiny fresh mozzarella
  • Roasted chicken
  • Salami slices
  • Capers
  • Sliced Mediterranean olives
  • Sliced or minced basil
  • Grated parmesan
  • Sprouts and fresh herb sprigs

Italian Dressing

  • ½ cup oil
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (or add 1 more teaspoon vinegar)
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½  teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 pinch dried oregano
  • 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Measure all ingredients into a canning jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously until blended. Taste and reseason if necessary.

Cook grains according to directions. Set a large deep skillet over medium heat, once hot add the oil. Add the onions and peppers to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are wilted and lightly caramelized, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan and saute 1 minute more. Add the zucchini, and eggplant, and continue to cook for an additional 7 minutes. Add the tomatoes and salt and pepper, to taste, and cook for a final 15 minutes. Take off the heat and allow to cool.

In a large bowl, add the three grains and toss together. If using fresh leaves, add those and coat with 2 to 3 tablespoons of dressing, then toss. Season with salt and pepper, then taste. Carefully add large spoonfuls of ratatouille, mixing and tasting. If using sautéed greens, add them now. When the salad works for you, add in any optional ingredients you want, garnish and serve.