2 bell peppers (preferably a mix of colors, like orange and red)
2 tomatoes (about 1 pound total)
1 globe eggplant (about 1 pound)
1 large zucchini (about 3/4 pound)
1 yellow squash (about 3/4 pound)
6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
1/4 cup basil leaves, roughly chopped
2 sprigs thyme, stems removed
2 bone-in pork loin chops (about 1-inch thick, 1/2-pound each)
1 tablespoon canola oil
  1. Heat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Prep the vegetables: Roughly chop the bell peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, and squash into 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces (they don’t have to be perfect). Add these to a large (4 1/2- to 5-quart) baking dish. Add the garlic, salt, fennel seeds, and red pepper flakes. Drizzle very generously with olive oil and toss until everything is completely combined.
  3. Roast the ratatouille for about 1 hour, or until the vegetables are as tender as you like. (This varies a lot by personal preference, so start checking after 40 minutes and go from there.) As soon as the ratatouille comes out of the oven, stir in the basil and thyme. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper flakes as needed.
  4. After the ratatouille has been in the oven for 20 minutes, make a few small, evenly distributed cuts along the fatty border of each pork chop. (This will prevent it from curling in the pan and encourage it to cook evenly.) Now season the pork chops all over with salt and black pepper and let them hang out at room temperature until the ratatouille is done.
  5. When the ratatouille is out of the oven, heat a cast-iron skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. While that heats up, pat the pork chops dry, then lightly sprinkle again with salt and pepper. When the pan is very hot, add the canola oil, then add the pork chops. They should sizzle very loudly. Cook the pork chops for 3 to 5 minutes on the first side, until it’s deeply browned, then 2 to 4 minutes on the second side, until cooked to your liking. (I aim for medium, or an internal temperature of about 140°F. Some people prefer it even rarer, though the USDA recommends 145°F.)
  6. Let the pork chops rest for a few minutes, then serve them with the ratatouille.