Have you ever seen Disney’s Ratatouille and stared in awe at the beautiful circular layers of alternating veggies? I first tried making this ratatouille when a friend of mine had a craving for it. I used this recipe and it turned out wonderfully. I had some eggplant and zucchini on-hand, so I decided to give it another try. The recipe is insanely simple and fairly difficult to mess up, which I of course love.
I started by slicing the vegetables with my mandolin. I sliced the eggplant first so I could salt the slices and set them aside. This helps to pull out the moisture in the eggplant, which essentially produces a better (and less watery) ratatouille later. If you do this, allow yourself about 30 minutes and make sure to wipe the salt off with a wet paper towel and dab at the moisture that has already accumulated on top of each slice. I then sliced up some additional veggies: zucchini, yellow squash, and vine tomatoes. I set those aside and chopped up about three cloves of garlic and a medium-sized onion.
I covered the bottom of my cast-iron pan with about a cup of pureed tomatoes and a couple tablespoons of concentrated tomato puree. I mixed up the onions and garlic with it, along with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
I then began layering the vegetables together, alternating the different varieties and starting from the outside. I eventually covered the tomato mixture completely. I splashed the top with olive oil, more salt and pepper, and some thyme. I then covered the top with parchment (cut out in a circle so it could fit nicely within the pan), and put the pan in a 375-degree oven for about 40 minutes.
The finished product not only looked and smelled great, but it tasted great as well. Unfortunately, I completely forgot to snap a picture right after it came out of the oven, but here’s the last bit of it left after I brought it to a potluck. It’s delicious and extremely flavorful on its own, or you can sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top. This will certainly make a vegetable lover out of anyone.