Hailing from southern France, ratatouille is a stewed vegetable dish usually consisting of tomatoes, eggplant and summer squash. It's a dish I love to make, and you know I've gotta add my Low Country spin. So, I saute shrimp and okra and stir it in at the end. You're going to love it.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a very large, deep skillet. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash and season with 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 8 minutes.
Stir in the thyme, tomatoes and bay leaf. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the tomatoes begin to burst, about 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon olive oil in a separate large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add the shrimp and okra and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook until the shrimp turns pink and is cooked through, about 6 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice. (This removes the "slime" from the okra.)
Add the shrimp, okra and basil to the vegetables. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the bay leaf, then sprinkle with additional basil before serving, if desired.