Time Required: 2 hours

Ratatouille

A simple take on a cozy classic. Plus some optional cheesy goodness.

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Notes:

When buying your produce for this recipe, aim to buy eggplants, zucchini, yellow squash, and tomatoes with roughly the same thickness/diameter. This will make stacking them way easier.

The seasonings I listed for the onion mixture here are a loose suggestion; feel free to play around with spices and season to your tastes!

I also often use basil garlic olive oil instead of regular olive oil when drizzling oil over the vegetables just before baking, so if you have some of that on hand give it a shot.

Ratatouille

Ingredients

  • 1 long Chinese or Japanese eggplant
  • 1-2 medium zucchini
  • 1-2 medium yellow squash
  • 3 narrow roma tomatoes
  • 2 narrow heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper
  • 8-10 cloves of garlic
  • 3 oz tomato paste (½ can)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra
  • ½ lemon
  • ~½ tsp crushed rosemary
  • ~½ tsp crushed thyme
  • ~¾ tsp dried basil
  • ~½ tsp dried parsley
  • ~¼ tsp ground coriander
  • ~¼ tsp dried oregano
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves
  • Optional: shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Optional: shredded parmesan cheese

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Chop the onion in half lengthwise and then finely slice each half (resulting in thin arched slices). Finely dice the bell pepper, then press or finely mince the cloves of garlic.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a nonstick skillet over low-medium heat for 1-2 minutes, until just heated through.
  4. Add the sliced onions to the olive oil and cook them for 3-5 minutes over low-medium heat until they start to soften noticeably, stirring often to coat them evenly in olive oil and break apart any slices that stick together.
  5. Add the diced bell pepper, ⅔ of the pressed or minced garlic, the zest and juice of the lemon half, and all the spices and stir to combine.
  6. Continue cooking over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally, about 10-15 minutes until the mixture becomes very fragrant, everything has softened, and the onions just begin to caramelize. Lower the heat if the onions or the garlic start to brown noticeably.
  7. While the onion mixture cooks, slice the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, roma tomatoes, and heirloom tomatoes into thin, even slices (roughly 1/8" - ¼" thick, depending on your preference). If you have a mandoline, you can use that to create very even slices; otherwise just use a sharp knife.
  8. Once you've sliced the vegetables and the onion mixture seems cooked through, add the tomato paste and a splash of olive oil to the onion mixture and stir to evenly combine. Continue cooking the onion mixture until the tomato paste heats through, softens, and spreads into the mixture nicely.
  9. Transfer the onion mixture into a 13" x 9" baking dish and spread it into an even layer on the bottom of the dish.
  10. Place the sliced vegetables into the dish vertically (so just an edge of each slice is sticking into the onion mixture), stacking one of each vegetable and then repeating the pattern until you fill the whole dish. You can use whatever alternating pattern and layout you prefer here. I usually arrange the slices in 4 rows that zigzag through the pan lengthwise, repeating the following pattern: eggplant, yellow squash, zucchini, roma tomato, eggplant, yellow squash, zucchini, heirloom tomato.
  11. Drizzle the vegetables with a bit of olive oil, then evenly distribute the remaining pressed/minced garlic over the top. Season with salt and pepper.
  12. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for roughly 40 minutes, until the vegetables are all sufficiently softened and the sauce under them is bubbly.
  13. Optional: if you want to top your ratatouille with cheese, remove the foil from the baking dish and sprinkle an even layer of mozzarella and/or parmesan on top. Switch your oven to the broil setting and place the dish back in the oven under the broiler until the cheese melts, gets bubbly, and just starts to brown on top.
  14. Remove the baking dish from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes to set slightly. While the dish cools, finely chop the fresh basil leaves and sprinkle them over the top of the ratatouille as garnish. Serve warm, ideally with some crusty bread to sop up all the lovely sauce.
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