Monday, July 16, 2012
Previous to last night I'm not sure I've ever had ratatouille before, so I'm not really sure why I decided I had to make it - but on Sunday afternoon, when the last of our wedding guests left, I decided I must make it.
Ratatouille is a delicious, beautiful dish. It's super savoury and satisfying, but also really light. It's only veggies, but eats like a meal. I want to eat it tonight again, but we finished the whole pan yesterday. I'd make another pan, but although easy, it is a time consuming dish. Perfect for making on Sunday afternoon.
I added the richness of goat cheese and some homemade GF breadcrumbs that made this dish over the top yummy and clearly irresistible.
Ratatouille My Way
2 green zucchinis
2 Chinese eggplants
(I'd also add in yellow squash if available)
6 fresh tomatoes - Roma's work best but any will do
Salt and Pepper
1 can of diced tomatoes (or your own canned marinara sauce)
3 cloves of garlic
Red pepper flakes
Salt and Pepper
1/2 slice GF toast
1-2 oz. soft goat cheese, crumbled
To make the tomato base, rough chop the garlic cloves and dice the onion. Cook both the onion and garlic over medium heat in the olive oil in a medium sauce pan. Once the onions have become translucent add the tomatoes, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Turn the heat up to medium high and bring the sauce to a simmer. I like to let the sauce simmer for at least an hour, but even longer will help develop the flavours fully. Add salt and pepper to taste.
To make the vegetable stack, slice all the zucchinis and eggplant and the tomatoes into 2-3 mm slices. I used a mandolin. Toss the zucchinis and squash and eggplant in a large bowl with olive oil and salt and pepper. Heat a large saute pan with a small bit of olive oil in it. Sear all the zucchinis, squash and eggplant slices on both sides until slightly browned.
To make the crust, brush the GF toast with butter and rub with a clove of garlic on both sides. Toast in the oven until dried out. Turn the slice of toast into crumbs in a food processor.
In the bottom of a 12 X 12 pan, add about 2 cups of tomato sauce - to the depth of about 1/2 an inch. Then layer the veggies, alternating the squash, zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes.
Repeat the pattern until the whole dish is filled. Top with the breadcrumbs, then the goat cheese crumbles.
Bake for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Turn the broiler on for the final few minutes if you desire a crispy crust.