17 May 2011

Tasty Tuesdays: Ratatouille

 I've got a file in my photos section on my computer titles 'blog photos'. within this file there are several other files, one of them being 'food'. Within that file there is a slew of recipe photos i snapped eons ago but never had the time or motivation to post. Every once in a while, like today, i decide to peek in that file and debate whether or not to post any of the recipes... and i always decide against it. This time, however, I noticed a recipe that I couldn't believe I hadn't already posted. In fact, I did a google search through my blog just to make sure I hadn't because I couldn't really understand why I wouldn't have posted it. Apparently I didn't, though, so now it gets to be this week's tasty tuesday feature.

Ratatouille is a wonderful dish. It's light, flavorful, and full of delicious summery vegetables like squash, zucchini, and eggplant. It's also incredibly beautiful while maintaining a simplicity and ease that makes it appropriate for a weeknight meal.

Also there's a cute little rat movie named after it so um, yeah... irresistible.

btw, excuse the flash-ified pics. I made this months and months ago at the old apartment down in tucson which had the worst lighting in history. the fact that i didn't get out of class till after night fall and did most of my blog cooking for dinner didn't help with that either.

1/2 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 small can tomato paste
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small, thin eggplant
1 small, long zucchini
1 small, long yellow squash
1 long red pepper
fresh or dried thyme
salt and pepper
rice, couscous, or quinoa for serving
italian parsley and/or goats cheese for serving- opt

Ratatouille starts with a simple tomato sauce base that the rest of the veggies cook in. Who doesn't love things cooked in tomato sauce? so good.

Preheat the oven to 375. In a shallow baking dish, combine the tomato paste and water. A good way to make sure you get all the tomato paste out of a can is to open it at both ends and then use one end to push the tomato-ey goodness out. like a push pop!
 mix well so that a thick-ish sauce is formed. add the onion, garlic, and 1 tbsp of the olive oil and stir well. season generously with salt and pepper. 
Using a mandoline or a very, very sharp knife, thinly slice the eggplant, zucchini, squash, and pepper. exclude the ends, obviously. Try to get as thin of slices as possible.
Starting from an outside edge, begin layering slices of veggies over the tomato sauce in a pretty pattern. Go around in a spiral until you get to the center and there is no more room for veggies. You will probably have quite a bit left over, depending on the size of your baking dish.

Drizzle the remaining tbsp of olive oil over the veggies and then season them with salt, pepper, and a couple pinches of fresh or dried thyme. Grab a sheet of foil or parchment paper and cut it so that it fits over the veggies- this will trap in the steam and keep the veggies moist while they bake.

Bake for 45-55 minutes or until veggies are tender and cooked but not limp. They should retain their color and structure and the tomato sauce should be bubbling up around them.
Serve on top of couscous, rice, or quinoa and garnish with italian parsley or goats cheese.

 p.s., this meal is vegan. don't you just love vegan-by-accident dishes? i know i do.

happy eating!


  1. This look beautiful! But... I don't think I can do it.

    Love it when you post recipes though!

  2. Awww looks so damn good!!!
    I'll try it!
    I just found your blog accidentally and love this because I'm vegetarian!!!