Nearly everyone is familiar with ratatouille due to that adorable Disney movie, but this classic garden ratatouille casserole dish is perfect for enjoying that bountiful summer garden harvest, or for a delicious side dish served with grilled beef, chicken or pork.
The trick to this dish cooking evenly is ensuring that the slices are even. The easiest way to cut the slices is with a mandolin slicer. It works great to keep the pieces uniform, even the bell peppers.
Garden Ratatouille Casserole
1 six-ounce can tomato paste
1/2 onion, chopped
2-3 tablespoons minced garlic
4 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
3/4 cup water
1 small eggplant, thinly sliced
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 yellow squash, thinly sliced
2 bell peppers, thinly sliced
3 torn basil leaves or 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Heat a skillet over medium heat, when the pan is hot add 1 tbs olive oil, when the oil is hot add the onion and saute until it’s translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute, Remove from the heat and set aside.
Get a 10×10-inch dutch oven baking dish and lightly grease with cooking spray. Combine tomato paste, sautéed onion and garlic, water, and one tablespoon of olive oil together in a bowl, mixing well. Season to your taste preferences with salt and pepper to taste ( I used 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper) then spread this mixture along the bottom of the dish.
Lightly coat the sliced vegetables in a bit of olive oil. Arrange the veggies in the dish, as pictured, begin along the outer edge of your baking dish and working towards the center, alternating them for the best appearance (and to allow the flavors to marry in the oven!)
When the vegetables have been placed, drizzle a bit of olive oil over the vegetables, season again with salt and pepper to taste. Then, sprinkle the top with thyme leaves or chopped fresh basil leaves.
Cut a small circle of parchment paper and cover the vegetables in the dish to prevent over-browning during cooking.
Bake until the vegetables are tender and fully roasted, about 45 minutes.
** Eggplant Tip- when eggplant cooks it has a tendency to become soggy. To avoid this, lightly salt each side of the eggplant slices and allow them to rest for about 20 minutes prior to adding them. This helps draw out excess moisture.
canstock photo vankad