Even if you try this ratatouille dish and decide you aren’t a fan, (I don’t know how that could happen) its fun to make because it is so pretty and colorful.
The reason I tried this dish is two-fold; first, to satisfy or need for new and interesting vegetarian recipes, and second, to make the dish that Remy made in the Disney/Pixar movie by the same name, Ratatouille! For a fun night with your kids, play the movie and dine on Ratatouille.
¼ onion, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves sliced thin
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
2 Italian eggplants
1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper
Salt & pepper
Goat cheese to serve
When you purchase your vegetables, remember, you are trying to create the look of almost a deck of cards spread out evenly. To make this happen, all your vegetables need to be approximately the same diameter. It’s fairly easy to do this with everything but the pepper. Just select the narrowest one you can so all the layers will line up nicely.
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Pour diced tomatoes, onion, garlic and 1 Tbsp. olive oil into a rounded rectangular baking dish measuring approximately 9” by12”. Season with salt & pepper.
3. Slice the Italian eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and pepper in thin slices of about 1/16th inch thick. Discard the ends and the core of the pepper.
4. Arrange the sliced vegetables on top of the tomato mixture in a concentric circle starting from the outer edge and working in. Overlap as shown. If you have veggies leftover, bag them and make vegetable soup!
5. Drizzle the remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil over the vegetables and season with salt & pepper. Sprinkle on the fresh thyme leaves. This time (no pun intended) I didn’t have fresh so I had to use dried.
6. Cover the vegetables with parchment paper cut to match the shape of the inside of the baking dish.
Bake for 45 – 55 minutes until veggies are cooked but not soggy. Remove the ratatouille from the oven when the tomato mixture is bubbling but before the vegetables get brown around the edges.
I think that serving the ratatouille with a bit of soft goat cheese on top is the only way to enjoy it fully. It adds so much wonderful flavor. I’m sure this would be tasty with a side of crusty French bread or as a side itself with your favorite grilled meat.
*Just received an e-mail from a visitor named Kathy. Her grandmother made a recipe like this with just tomatoes but the same seasonings. However, she would crush a sleeve of Ritz crackers and sprinkle on top the last 15 minutes of baking – sounds delicious!