Ratatouille reconstructed

by Heather on July 29, 2011

I don’t know about you but we have a lot of produce in our house. The CSA keeps sending us sungolds by the truckload,¬† zucchini is popping out from every corner, peppers have no shortage and there’s basil aplenty.

As I looked at all this wonderful produce and contemplated what to create from it, my mind strayed to rats.

Yes, rats.

Well, really one rat in particular. A little rat named Remy who loved to cook. I know that movie is *technically* a kids’ movie but it totally got to me – it’s just so.darn.cute.

Annnnyway, ratatouille seemed the perfect choice, and heck- if an animated rat can do it, surely I could come up with something.

So, here you go – my version of a dish somehow made more popular by a rodent cooking it.

Enjoy!

 Ratatouille Reconstructed

Materials

  • 1 eggplant
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 2 smallish zucchinis
  • 1 pint of sungolds (or other cherry tomato)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • a fistful of basil (or 1/2 cup if you want to get technical), roughly chopped
  • olive oil

 

Methods

1. Slice and dice your veggies.

I did rounds for the eggplant….

and strips for the zucchini.

Remove the seeds from the peppers…

and cut into strips.

2. Heat a shallow pan to slightly hotter than medium heat, and add a bit of olive oil to coat pan, followed by peppers and onions. Cook for ~7-8 minutes, stirring frequently. Add in minced garlic, reduce heat to medium low and partially cover. Let cook while you tend to the next step.

3. In a separate pan heated to medium heat & coated in olive oil, add a layer of zucchini strips. Cook just until they become pliant (~1-2 minutes) and remove from pan. This can be done in several batches if needed.

4. After zucchini, add in the eggplant rounds, cooking one layer at a time to slightly soften, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from pan and pour in the sungolds, cooking for ~2 minutes then remove from heat.

5. Now – we build. Lightly oil a pie plate then start layering:

Eggplant

Followed by peppers and onions

and tomatoes and basil (save a few to throw on the very top!)

Next, comes the fun part. Arrange all those flexible little zucchini strips into whatever artistic arrangement floats your boat (pinwheel, lattice, ‘abstract’- aka just dump them on).

Then realize just how beautiful food is and get distracted into snapping way WAY too many pictures of it.

Warning: you’re about to see many pictures of basically the same thing. But hey, it’s my party and I’ll cry photo-dump share several lovely perspectives of a still life if I want to. :)

Hi, my name is Heather, and I am addicted to photographing food.

6. Preheat oven to 375 then place your lovely ratatouille in the oven and cook for ~45 minutes to an hour, until the zucchini start to get just slightly crispy on top and the sungolds have blistered, releasing some of their juices.

I actually planned to have this the next day, so I cooked it for 45 minutes, removed and let cool to room temperature and refrigerated overnight. For dinner the next day, I popped it in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

7. Plate up: serve a heaping scoop on a hunk of warm, fresh bread from your favorite local bakery.

 

Results & Conclusions

 

The flavors from each vegetable in this dish meld together to form a wonderfully fresh yet comforting taste.

This meal is the perfect summer meal to enjoy outside in the evening breeze.

Bon appetit!

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

tslmom July 29, 2011 at 6:13 pm

This looks good even to me! :)
Love the photos — very colorful dish and very attractively arranged.

Reply

marla July 29, 2011 at 7:52 pm

Such a pretty ratatouille! Perfect for all those CSA veggies.

Reply

Heather July 31, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Thanks!

Reply

Gwen @SimplyHealthyFamily July 29, 2011 at 8:18 pm

Man, I’m reeeeally kicking myself for not joining a CSA now. I keep telling myself it’s not worth it here in Phx. Az. but who knows?

I came across this recipe on FG and am now officially in love with your gorgeous site. Can’t wait to be your new stalker

Reply

Heather July 31, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Thanks for stopping by – glad to have you! Even if you’re not a CSA member, the good ol farmers market is always a great place to find a bounty of local produce

Reply

Alivia July 29, 2011 at 9:49 pm

This looks delicious! I will have to try the recipe…. I haven’t been into eggplant until I tried an eggplant dip the other day… I can’t wait to try it like this!

Reply

Heather July 31, 2011 at 6:04 pm

My first encounter with eggplant was less than stellar (horrid actually) but I have since grown to love them. I promise they will not disappoint :)

Reply

christellar August 4, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Wonderful post, and fabulous photography!

Reply

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