Ratatouille, a French vegetable stew, got a little boost in popularity from the Disney movie about a rat that becomes a chef. Very cute movie if you haven’t seen it. The vegetables were sliced, and looked not only beautiful but delicious. I recently watched the movie again and it put the idea of making this dish in my head.
The sliced beautiful ratatouille in the movie is not the ratatouille I remember pushing around on my plate from my childhood. I remember my mother making a ratatouille when I was younger with chopped up vegetables and it having a very strong eggplant taste, which I am not the biggest fan of. While I did anticipate enjoying this dish more than the one my mother made, I was really only making it because I liked the look of it and it was something fun for my daughter and I to make together.
Well, to my surprise I absolutely loved the taste and went back for more. The sauce and spices mixed with the thinly sliced vegetables was incredible. It is a little time consuming, but worth the effort. Sadly once again I was rushed taking photos because my family was waiting for dinner so it doesn’t look as “pretty” as all the other photos you may see on-line, but it is the taste that really matters, right?
2 mini eggplants
1 large zucchini
1 large yellow squash
3 plum tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 small onion, chopped
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
When shopping for the vegetables try to find them as close in size as you can. For the yellow squash I only used the fatter part of the squash, and saved the rest to eat at a later time. Mini eggplants are a must as a regular size would make slices much too large.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
To prepare the sauce saute the onion in a tablespoon of olive oil for a few minutes until the onion begins to soften. Add the garlic and continue sauting for one minute. Add the crushed tomatoes, spices, and vinegar and bring to a simmering boil. I didn’t measure the spices, if I were going to guess maybe 1/2 – 1 tsp of each.
Let the sauce cook on a low simmer for about 15 minutes.
While the sauce is cooking slice the vegetables. Try to slice them thin, maybe 1/8 of an inch.
Pour the sauce into a casserole dish. I used a pie plate which was a little too small for all of the sauce. I ended up not using all of it, and hindsight should have used a little less.
Arrange the vegetables in the sauce.
Brush with a little olive oil, then sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking for about 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
Now, you can either be done or add a little cheese like I did. I grated some Gruyere and sprinkled it on top and continued baking for a few minutes until the cheese was melted.