To make friend ratatouille, you need to start by having a few generous friends with healthy gardens. Mine never recovered from Hurricane Irene, but luckily Val and Amy have gardens that are still trickling along. They were kind enough to gift me with eggplant and tomatoes, respectively.
Ratatouille is a lot like vegetable soup: you can just toss in whatever veggies you have (within reason), cook it down, and it will come out pretty good. For my friend ratatouille, I started with a chopped onion and sauteed until golden in olive oil. I added a minced garlic glove and cooked for a bit more while I peeled and chopped the eggplant into half-inch cubes. Added to pan, with a splash of red wine to give it a little liquid (the eggplant sucks up the oil); sauteed while I peeled and chopped the tomatoes. Put tomatoes with all juice in plus a little water, some leftover spaghetti sauce, then a few chopped roasted red peppers, because I didn't have any fresh available. Turned the heat to simmer and put the lid on to let it cook down for a bit, stirring occasionally. Salt, pepper, maybe a little oregano, that's it.
It always looks pretty much the same when you're done, though the taste can vary slightly depending on what you've added in.
This one was 100% delicious served over quinoa (made with a little chicken bouillon to give it a bit of flavor) and grilled chicken on the side. Our local farmstand still has tomatoes and eggplant out, so it looks like I will be making farmstand ratatouille in the near future!