Monday, October 5, 2015

Ratatouille Recipe

Ratatouille is a traditional peasant meal from France and the name comes from a word that means to toss. This recipe is soooooo good and worth the time it takes! It does take some time to make, about 3.5 hours total. It's a perfect weekend side dish and is great when you have fresh vegetable from your garden or farmers market! You can most certainly make this throughout the year since we can find zucchini and squash year round but the fresh veggie's just make it even better! I really hope you enjoy it!

Ratatouille Recipe

Sauce
1-2 small red, yellow or orange bell pepper
3 Tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1/2 medium sized onion, diced
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 sprig fresh Italian parsley
1 spring fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degress. Cut bell pepper in half removing the seeds, ribs and core and lay face down on a foil lined baking dish. Add 4 peeled cloves of garlic and drizzle everything with olive oil. Roast this mixture for about 20-30 minutes until the peppers are soft and the skin is easily removed and make sure the garlic doesn't burn-golden brown is the goal.
  2. Once peppers are finished roasting, remove and allow to cool until you can handle working with them. Then peel and finely chop peppers and garlic. Set aside.
  3. In a saute pan or sauce pan, heated over medium heat, cook the onion until it is slightly caramelized, soft but not too brown. Add in canned tomatoes, diced peppers, garlic, fresh thyme, parsley and bay leaf.
  4. Simmer on low, uncovered for about 30 minutes until the sauce is very thick and very little liquid remains. Season with salt to taste and remove herb sprigs.

Balsamic Drizzle

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
salt and pepper to taste.

Combine all ingredients and set aside.

Ratatouille

1-2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
1-2 medium yellow squash, thinly sliced
4-5 Roma or smaller sized tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 small or Japanese eggplant, thinly sliced (optional, I've done it with it and without it)
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Evenly spread the sauce on the bottom of a 8 x 12 baking dish.
  2. Arrange slices of zucchini, eggplant, yellow squash and tomatoes in a pattern, repeating. Now this is where you can get creative: you can make one strip down and another strip going the other direction, you can make a spiral pattern like I did, etc. The whole point is to make it look pretty :). 
  3. Once the pan is filled, Drizzle the balsamic mixture over the vegetables. Cover with foil and back until vegetables are tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Uncover and bake for 30 more minutes.
Serve this warm and you'll want a large serving, trust me. My mouth is watering just typing this! 

Serving options: We recently put the cooked Ratatouille on a nice white roll, topped it with some provolone and made it into a sandwich....it's super good!!! This is a great option to use as leftovers or lunch the next day.

Enjoy!
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