I got the idea to make ratatouille from my grandmother. I was talking to her on the phone, telling her about all of the nice veggies I’d gotten from the farm and she said “Oh! You have eggplant? I’ll send you my recipe for ratatouille.” Of course, by “send” she meant not by email or text message, but old-fashion snail mail it to me and I still have not received it. So, I decided to look for my own recipe. I wondered if there was a recipe that followed exactly what the cute little rat, Remy, makes in the Disney film, and it turns out there is! Ratatouille is an excellent way to sneak more vegetables into your diet. Baking vegetables covered in olive oil and herbs makes them much sweeter and easier to eat. And layering the sliced pieces on top of each other in the pan creates a very beautiful effect on the food and really brings out the gorgeous colors. When you are eating it, I recommend spreading the yummy bottom layer of tomatoes and onions onto a piece of toasted bread.
So, if you are looking for an easy way to use up all of those vegetables from your CSA farm share, this is a really great recipe I’ve adapted from a version of Ratatouille from allrecipies.com. You can use anything you like in terms of vegetables. I found that virtually any type of squash will work fine.
And yes, it is exactly like the Ratatouille from the Pixar film.
Ready in 1 hour and 30 min, Serves 4
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 cup minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup water
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 small eggplant, trimmed and very thinly sliced
1 zucchini, trimmed and very thinly sliced
1 yellow squash, trimmed and very thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, cored and very thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, cored and very thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil, or to taste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, or to taste
3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F
Spread tomato paste into the bottom of a baking dish. Sprinkle with onion and garlic and stir in 1 tablespoon olive oil and water until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and black pepper.
Arrange alternating slices of eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, red bell pepper, and yellow bell pepper, starting at the outer edge of the dish and working concentrically towards the center. Drizzle the vegetables with 3 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with thyme leaves.
- Bake in the preheated oven until vegetables are roasted and tender, about 45 minutes. Serve with dollops of mascarpone cheese and sliced bread.