Thinly sliced summer vegetables layered with French herb tomato sauce and served with a side of buttery grits
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To prepare the sauce, heat olive oil in a pan over low heat. Dice the onion. Add all sauce ingredients except the vinegar to the pan, mix well, and cook for 10 minutes, adding the vinegar during the last minute of cooking.
Cut the eggplant, zucchini, and tomato into 1/8 inch slices. If your tomato slices and/or eggplant slices are significantly larger in diameter than the zucchini slices, they may be cut into half circles for tidier assembly.
Grease an 8x8 baking dish and spread the sauce in the bottom of the dish. Begin placing the vegetable slices vertically against one side of the dish, and work to create layers until the dish is full. We're not looking for a perfect pattern here--just a nice mixture that will allow the flavors to blend.
Brush the tops of the vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle them with salt. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake for one hour, removing the foil for the last 15 minutes of baking.
To make the polenta, add the polenta, water, and salt to a small pot, and cook on medium heat for about 25 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed and the polenta thickens. If it begins to sputter, take the heat down. Stir in butter before serving.
To serve, top bowls of polenta with ratatouille, and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese and fresh basil.