Ratatouille

ratatouille

I love Ratatouille! It is a very tasty meal that takes a bit to cook but not too long to prepare the vegetables – a great dinner to set up, walk away, and come back to. I like to prepare it this way because the vegetables here are not overcooked, but instead retain just enough of their own flavor and character to work wonderfully together. Here, there are not specific measurements of vegetable ingredients – simply work with what you have and how much food you think you would like. You can easily add more vegetables to this recipe as well.

Serves 3 – 4.

Ingredients

  • 1 large globe eggplant
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 red bell pepper or 3 – 4 mini bell peppers
  • 1 white or yellow onion
  • 8 oz mushrooms
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tomatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp herb d’provence or italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  •  parmesan to top
  • olive oil

Instructions

Slice eggplant into 1/4 inch slices. Lightly sprinkle each slice with salt on one side, leave all of the slices in a colander to sweat some of their water while you prepare other ingredients.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Slice zucchini, mushrooms, red peppers, and tomatoes into about a 1/4″ dice. It doesn’t matter what size your slices are – I like it if they are all roughly the same size, about 2″ square. To cut the bell pepper, slice across the whole pepper so thaty you have rings of pepper rather than thin slices. Remove the seed tissue. Slice the onions – cut off the ends of the onion, then cut the onion in half, perhaps even quarters depending on your preference, and peel away layers of the onion to create different pieces. Combine all the vegetable slices in a mixing bowl, mix in about a tsp of salt, a few good shakes of pepper, the herbs d’provence, and about 1 tbsp of olive oil – mix to combine and cover the vegetables in a thin coat of oil. You can add more of these to taste.

Pat the eggplant dry with a paper towel, then combine it in the bowl.

In a Dutch oven or a square baking dish, pour half of the tomato sauce and spread it over the bottom of the pan. Peel and slice the garlic and sprinkle it over this sauce. Now, you can either add the ingredients all at once and spread them out evenly, or I like to layer them in so that each type of vegetable alternates into a spiral. This is a little more work, but when I have time I like to do it because it reminds me of the movie Ratatouille! Now, pour the rest of the tomato sauce evenly over the vegetables.

Bake uncovered for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for about five minutes, then top with parmesan cheese and the parsley (you can give it a rough chop if you like). Serve with a crusty bread or an olive bread to soak up the juices!

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