I thought I got lucky this season by not catching everyone’s cold. Usually when that happens, I look like I’ve swallowed a set of golf balls, since my tonsils hate me. So when I woke up on Saturday morning with a man cold, I knew my time had come.
That being said, I finally got the energy and courage to get dressed… meaning out of my onesie and into a sweatshirt and jeans… and go grocery shopping. I was looking forward to going shopping because this week’s recipe is a killer. And even with a man cold and stuffed nose, I could actually taste how amazing this recipe was.
I’ve been aching to make Ratatouille, and I’ve mentioned it several times in previous posts that I’ve been wanting to make this recipe. Every time I think about it, I automatically think of Remi the rat, in Pixar’s movie Ratatouille. It’s such a great movie. Any food related movie is great, in my opinion. If you have any to suggest, please do!
This summer, Sorted had a France Eat’s series in which they made this ratatouille. I did try it over the summer, and ohhhh I was highly impressed. I didn’t think about blogging about it then, but now it’s the time, and also the perfect recipe for the start of winter. It’s a great warming dish, with amazing flavours. I highly recommend making it, and it’s also a visual crowd pleaser… As you will see, you can definitely play around with the vegetable sequence to make it unique!
Just as a tip, you’re going to want your veggies to be roughly the same size when you slice them… this gets tricky if you’re using a large eggplant… You might want to look into purchasing a few small eggplants, such as striped eggplants, which are smaller and similar size to zucchinis.
You will need
- 1 large eggplant, or a couple little striped eggplants, sliced in 1 cm rounds (you might need to slice those in half so they fit in your baking dish)
- 2-3 zucchinis, sliced in rounds
- 3-4 beef tomatoes (which are the bigger tomatoes usually used in restaurants for burgers… just look for the biggest tomatoes you can find), sliced in rounds
- 2 yellow or orange bell peppers, sliced in strips
- 1-2 red onions, sliced in rounds
- 2 red bell peppers, sliced in halves
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- fresh thyme (dried thyme is just as good)
- tomato sauce, about 400ml
- glug of olive oil
- glug of balsamic vinegar
First, take your RED bell peppers, slice them in halves, place them on a baking tray that’s lined with aluminum foil and place them under the broiler until the skins are black and charred.
While the peppers are in the oven, mince your garlic and pick the thyme leaves off the stalk (fast way is to hold the stem downwards, pinch the end and slide your fingers down the stem… it takes all of the leaves off in a blink of an eye).
In a small pot, heat up your tomato sauce, garlic, thyme and oil until it starts simmering. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes, or until your peppers are roasted.
Check your peppers. When they are nice and blistered, take them out and let them cool a bit. Once they’ve cooled down, peel the black skin off, cut them roughly in half and place them in a blender to purée them. Once they’ve been puréed, add them to your tomato sauce. Once they are in your sauce, you can turn the heat off and let it sit there until you’re ready to use it.
Meanwhile, chop up your eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes and bell peppers in 1-2cm thick slices. You’re going to want to find a baking dish that is shallow and long (I used an 8 x 14 Pyrex dish)… If you’re using a large eggplant, slice the rounds in half so they are roughly the same-ish size as your other veggies… Do that for any other veg so they are similar in shape and size.
Drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle salt, pepper and left over thyme onto the vegetables.
Now the fun part. Spread your tomato sauce in the bottom of the dish. Then have fun lining your vegetables! I did a sequence of eggplant, tomato, bell pepper, zucchini, onion… Depending on the shape of your dish, you can do swirls, etc. Really have fun with it! Again, if your veg aren’t really the same size, you can cut them so they even out, but it’s not the end of the world if they don’t all match up.
Once everything is lined up, drizzle another glug of olive oil and a glug of balsamic vinegar over the dish and stick it in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes. When the first 30 minutes is up, bring the heat up to 400 degrees and let bake for another 30 minutes.
While that’s baking, you can make rice/quinoa/tofu/any other side dish you might want to have with it.
Eh voilà! Simple, easy and delicious!
Hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did! Please let me know what you think.