Ratatouille


Ratatouille, the dish made famous by Disney. Beyond associating this dish with the cutest animated rat in history, I love how healthy and celebratory it is! It's the perfect dish for summer's bounty of squashes and eggplants and juicy red tomatoes. I highly suggest taking a trip to the local farmers market and picking out the freshest and ripest goodies for this special meal.


Beyond slicing and stacking, this meal is very simple to make and lets the beautiful flavors of the veggies do the talking.


I've made a version of ratatouille for the slow cooker (see here), and although that is a very convenient and easy recipe, it leaves out the most fun part of making this recipe: the perfect/imperfect spiral in the baking dish! Mine was definitely imperfect, but trust me, it tasted just as good.


We went very simple and served our ratatouille with a baguette and vegan butter, but you could serve this over couscous, rice, or with a side of pasta. Bon appetit!


Ingredients
1 eggplant, sliced into thin rounds
1 zucchini, sliced into thin rounds
1 yellow squash, sliced into thin rounds
4-6 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp olive oil, separated
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced, separated
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tsp Italian seasoning or dried basil
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish
salt and pepper

Instructions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prep veggies and set aside. In a small saucepan, add 1 Tbsp olive oil and heat over medium high heat. Add onion and 1 clove garlic, season with salt, and saute until softened and slightly browned or 3-4 minutes. Add diced tomatoes and Italian seasoning, stir, and reduce heat to medium low. Let simmer for 8 minutes. Pour sauce into the bottom of a round casserole dish or cake pan and smooth with the back of a wooden spoon.

Carefully and tightly, stand the veggie slices up in the pan (stacked by alternating slice of eggplant, zucchini, summer squash, tomato) to form a tight spiral shape in the pan. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes covered and 20 minutes uncovered. Meanwhile, whisk together 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp minced garlic, and thyme leaves. After your remove the ratatouille from the oven, drizzle with the herb olive oil mixture and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 4


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