Saturday, October 1, 2011


I made ratatouille awhile ago to balance out my frequent habit of making a bowl of cookie dough and eating the entire thing. When you have a pile of vegetables for dinner all desert binges seem justified.

The recipe, from A Smitten Kitchen, was suggested to me by my vegetarian sister-in-law. For that and may other reasons, I really like her

It was easy, cheap, delicious, and guess what?! A big. fat. healthy. pile of vegetables!

If and when I make it again, I would double the tomato puree to add a bit more liquid to the dish. I like my rice to have something sticking to it, you know?

Also, I used feta cheese instead of goat cheese because it's what I had on-hand and I'm crazy like that. I would do it again, it was delicious.

The recipes looks like it is complicated but I swear the prep time is 30 minutes max.


Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
2 cup tomato puree
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small eggplant (my store sells these “Italian Eggplant” that are less than half the size of regular ones; it worked perfectly)
1 smallish zucchini
1 smallish yellow squash
1 longish red bell pepper
Few sprigs fresh thyme (I omitted and didn't miss a thing)
Salt and pepper
Few tablespoons soft goat or feta cheese, for serving

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Pour tomato puree into bottom of an oval baking dish, approximately 10 inches across the long way. Drop the sliced garlic cloves and chopped onion into the sauce, stir in one tablespoon of the olive oil and season the sauce generously with salt and pepper.

Trim the ends off the eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash. As carefully as you can, trim the ends off the red pepper and remove the core, leaving the edges intact, like a tube.
On a mandoline, adjustable-blade slicer or with a very sharp knife, cut the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and red pepper into very thin slices, approximately 1/16-inch thick.

Atop the tomato sauce, arrange slices of prepared vegetables concentrically from the outer edge to the inside of the baking dish, overlapping so just a smidgen of each flat surface is visible, alternating vegetables. You may have a handful leftover that do not fit.

Drizzle the remaining tablespoon olive oil over the vegetables and season them generously with salt and pepper. Remove the leaves from the thyme sprigs with your fingertips, running them down the stem. Sprinkle the fresh thyme over the dish.

Cover dish with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit inside. (Tricky, I know, but the hardest thing about this.)
Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, until vegetables have released their liquid and are clearly cooked, but with some structure left so they are not totally limp. They should not be brown at the edges, and you should see that the tomato sauce is bubbling up around them.
Serve with a dab of soft goat cheese on top, alone, or with some crusty French bread, atop polenta, couscous, or your choice of grain.

1 comment:

  1. I've been wanting to make this forever. Please tell me you watched the movie afterwards. And yes, I still read your blog.