Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ratatouille like the Movie

I finally pulled out the mandoline Mike bought me for my birthday (in March). And I completely, 100% take back all the bad thoughts I had about it! I had read a bunch of reviews and put this on my wish list but then when it arrived I thought it didn't have enough options and the plastic didn't seem very sturdy. It was sitting down in a basement closet, waiting to get returned to amazon when I finally decided it wasn't worth the hassle of calling them up to get a special gift return and pay shipping. And I'm soo glad I didn't send it back! All the great reviews were true. All that to say we finally tried out Ratatouille's ratatouille! This recipe is from Smitten Kitchen and it is amazing. Easy. Pretty. And oh so delicious!

Ratatouille’s Ratatouille 
from Smitten Kitchen

1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced - I just used a garlic press as I was rushing
1 cup tomato puree - I couldn't find any and substituted tomato sauce -worked great
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small eggplant
1 smallish zucchini
1 smallish yellow squash
1 longish red bell pepper
Few sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
Few tablespoons soft goat cheese, for serving

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Pour tomato puree into bottom of an oval baking dish, approximately 10 inches across the long way. I used a round pan and just kept filling up pans as long as I had veggies left!
Drop the sliced garlic cloves and chopped onion into the sauce, stir in one tablespoon of the olive oil and season the sauce generously with salt and pepper.
Trim the ends off the eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash. As carefully as you can, trim the ends off the red pepper and remove the core, leaving the edges intact, like a tube.
On a mandoline, adjustable-blade slicer or with a very sharp knife, cut the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and red pepper into very thin slices, approximately 1/16-inch thick.
Atop the tomato sauce, arrange slices of prepared vegetables concentrically from the outer edge to the inside of the baking dish, overlapping so just a smidgen of each flat surface is visible, alternating vegetables. You may have a handful leftover that do not fit.
Drizzle the remaining tablespoon olive oil (I was really generous with the olive oil and yes, it's delicious) over the vegetables and season them generously with salt and pepper. Remove the leaves from the thyme sprigs with your fingertips, running them down the stem. Sprinkle the fresh thyme over the dish.
Cover dish with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit inside. (Tricky, I know, but the hardest thing about this.)
Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes (mine took less as I used smaller pans and convection), until vegetables have released their liquid and are clearly cooked, but with some structure left so they are not totally limp. They should not be brown at the edges, and you should see that the tomato sauce is bubbling up around them.
Serve with a dab of soft goat cheese on top, alone, or with some crusty French bread, atop polenta, couscous, or your choice of grain. This was fantastic with lots of goat cheese.  I used it as a side dish and the leftovers made amazing lunches just served in bowls!

And if you're curious, here's Thomas Keller's version (much more involved but I'm sure delicious).


  1. I had ratatouille on our anniversary and fell in LOVE with it!! Thanks for this recipe. I'm totally gonna try it out. :-)

  2. It's healthy comfort food!! Soo delish I've been eating the leftovers for lunch all week! Hope your busy busy weekend goes well!