You know, I’ve never seen the movie Ratatouille (although I hear it’s adorable.) I only know this French stew from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, a classic amongst the cuisine literature. It’s a simple dish with some tomato, onions, summer vegetables and garlic. It traditionally calls for sauteing the vegetables in a skillet prior to baking in order to retain individual flavors. I was, however, way to lazy and hungry to do that.
A great way to get around the fuss of cooking each vegetable individually is by overlapping the eggplant, squash and peppers. This recipe is adapted from Smitten Kitchen, who was inspired by the movie and Thomas Keller’s Confit Byaldi. It’s beautiful, isn’t it?
Rata-2-e (because it’s for 2, get it!?)
- 3 small eggplants, sliced very thin
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 garlic scapes, minced
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced very thin
- 1 red pepper, seeded and sliced very thin
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- Dash of chili pepper
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375.
- In a medium casserole dish, stir in the tomato sauce, 1 tbsp olive oil, onion and garlic scapes.
- In alternating layers, place the eggplant, zucchini and red pepper in the dish. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil.
- Season with the thyme leaves, some chili flakes and salt and pepper to taste.
- Loosely cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the vegetables are tender (but not falling apart). Serve with polenta, pasta or a crusty piece of bread.