Summer Ratatouille {What’s Cooking Wednesday}

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ratatouille

My husband’s favorite Disney movie is Ratatouille. Whenever he suggests that what we put on for family movie night, my 5 year old always exclaims: “Again?!?” and normally gives a very dramatic eye roll. So since he couldn’t convince us to watch it for the millionth time, I decided to make ratatouille for dinner!

This recipe is a perfect because it only requires one pot AND is a way to use all the summer veggies that are currently in season. Check out our See Circle City: Indianapolis Farmers Market Roundup to see where you can purchase some of these yummy veggies directly from our local farmers!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 bulb fennel, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1.5 cans (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 3 tsp herbs de Provence (or if you’re like me and don’t have that… I just mixed rosemary, fennel seed, thyme, basil, marjoram, parsley, oregano, tarragon)
  • 3 tsp (or 3 sprigs) of fresh thyme
  • 1/2 c fresh basil, chopped
  • 1-2 zucchinis
  • 1-2 yellow summer squash
  • 1 eggplant
  • 3-4 Roma tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Your Steps to Making Ratatouille:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Heat olive oil in cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, fennel and 3/4 tsp of salt. Cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes or until the onions have softened.
  3. Add the chopped bell pepper and fennel, cook for another 5 minutes. Pour crushed tomatoes over mixture. Season with herbs de Provence and 2 tsp thyme, stir, simmering over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Add fresh basil.
  4. In a circular pattern, starting with the outside of the pan, alternate zucchini slices, summer squash slices, eggplant slices and tomato slices until all veggies have been added. Sprinkled with 1 tsp thyme, 1/4 tsp salt and black pepper.
  5. Cover the cast iron with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 25 minutes. Garnish with fresh thyme and basil if you wan to me bougie and extra like me!
  6. Serve with a crusty French baguette and salad (or plain noodles for the littles, because carbs are life) for a delicious, healthy vegan meal.

Here’s a tip of advice: My toddler usually eats ANYTHING (see this previous Reel here) but today he decided to be fussy. All he wanted to eat was plain noodles, so I whipped out the blender, added some of his ratatouille and blended until it was a smooth sauce. I poured that over his noodles and he scarfed it down. Little did he know that he was indeed eating all the vegetables he’d just told me 5 minutes earlier were “yucky!”

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