I very much regret to inform you that I’m not watching Ratatouille as I write this.
This is sad because it is, in my opinion, a truly fantastic movie.
But I’m thrilled to announce that my favorite blogger, Mizz Smitten Kitchen, has modeled a recipe for ratatouille after the dish from the movie. Goodness, she’s a genius.
In substance her ratatouille is largely the same as others, but the trick is in the presentation. By fanning the vegetables out, you get evenly roasted results as opposed to the goopy capanota-esque output of more traditional recipes.
I also like her version because it’s extremely easy and makes you look like a culinary genius…or, you know, a marionette chef controlled by a rat.
You could serve it as a side, but I like to eat it as a meal on top of brown rice and feel self righteously wholesome. That is, until the weekend comes and I eat burgers, mashed potato and bacon pizza (I mean, WHAT!?), 3 blue cheese and scallion biscuits and a vat of wine.
…But who’s counting?
Make this and you can be as healthy as me!
Ratatouille a la Ratatouille
(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
1 cup tomato puree (or prepared tomato sauce)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small eggplant (Italian eggplant which are smaller than most work well here for evenly sized vegetable slices)
1 smallish zucchini
1 smallish yellow squash
1 longish red bell pepper
Few sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Pour tomato puree into bottom of a baking dish – Deb uses an oval dish that’s approximately 10 inches long, I don’t have such a dish. Add the sliced garlic cloves and chopped onion into the sauce, stir in one tablespoon of the olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper (though if you’re using prepared tomato sauce, you won’t need much salt).
Trim the ends off the eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash. Carefully trim the ends off the red pepper and remove the core while keeping it intact, ending up with a tube.
With a knife or on a mandoline if you have it, cut the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and red pepper into very thin slices – Deb says approximately 1/16-inch thick so get out your ruler if you’d like.
Arrange the vegetable slices on top of the sauce concentrically, spiraling them into the middle of the pan and alternating vegetables as you go. They should overlap so that only a bit of the flat surface of each vegetable is visible. You may have leftovers – save for later use!
Drizzle the remaining tablespoon olive oil over the vegetables and season them generously with salt and pepper. Sprinkle thyme leaves over the vegetables.
Cover dish with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit inside – I take a pencil and trace around the edge of the dish on the parchment paper, then cut it.
Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes or until vegetables have released their liquid and are cooked, but aren’t totally limp. They should not be browning at the edges, and you should see the tomato sauce bubbling up around them.
Serve over rice or grain of your choice.
Rataouille’s ratatouille: https://smittenkitchen.com/2007/07/rat-a-too-ee-for-you-ee/