Ratatouille is all the rage among food bloggers lately, thanks to the Pixar movie of the same name. The movie sounds interesting, but I have to admit to being a little blasé about ratatouille the dish; it’s sort of old news to vegans, who often find it’s the only thing vegetarian on a menu (beware of versions using chicken broth). Though it’s a little funny to see so many ratatouille recipes being posted because of a movie, any movie that gets people eating more eggplant–and more vegetarian recipes–is fine with me!
Ratatouille is a rustic Provençal stew that depends on the freshness of its ingredients for its pizazz. Since my garden is overflowing with Japanese eggplants and cherry and grape tomatoes, it was just a matter of time before I made it this summer. This time, however, instead of stewing the vegetables in a pot on the stove, I roasted the vegetables all together in the oven, resulting in a deep, caramelized flavor and veggies that hold their shapes and get tender but not mushy. This is excellent eaten hot or cold as a side dish, but I chose to serve it over some spinach linguine I’ve been saving for a special occasion, topped with a sprinkling of fresh basil and toasted pine nuts. Try it this way and you might never settle for regular ratatouille again!
(Note to aubergine lovers: See the end of this post for more eggplant recipes!)
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4 large Japanese eggplants or 2 small globe eggplants (about 1 1/2 lbs.)
2 large zucchini
2 red, yellow, or green bell peppers, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
12-16 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes
1 large onion, chopped
6-8 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary (you may substitute dried, crushed rosemary or herbes de provence)
salt and pepper
olive oil spray
Preheat the oven to 425F.
Cut the eggplants and zucchini into pieces approximately 3/4-inch. For slender eggplants, I simply slice them; larger Japanese eggplants are halved lengthwise and sliced. Zucchini are quarter lengthwise and sliced. Cherry and grape tomatoes are left whole because they will cook more slowly that way, in sync with the other vegetables, but if you use regular-sized tomatoes, cut them into 1-inch pieces.
Spray an extra-large baking dish with olive oil and add all vegetables. Toss them with the rosemary, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spray the top lightly with olive oil and place in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes and stir. Bake for about 20 more minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Cook until vegetable are tender but not dried out; some liquid should remain in the dish.
Serve hot or cold as a side dish. Or as a main course, serve over pasta, sprinkled with toasted pine nuts and fresh basil.
Makes 4 servings. Each serving of ratatouille alone (no pasta or pine nuts) contains 102 Calories (kcal); 1g Total Fat; (8% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 22g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 17mg Sodium; 7g Fiber.
Personally, I don’t think there’s such a thing as too much eggplant, but if you’re having trouble figuring out what to do with your summer eggplant harvest, here’s a list of every eggplant recipe I’ve posted. Now that’s a lot of eggplant!
Grilled Baby Eggplants with Korean Barbecue Sauce
Whole Wheat Pasta with Roasted Vegetables and Olives
Stuffed Eggplants and Not-So-Dirty Rice
Thai Eggplants and Chickpeas in Peanut Masala
Eggplant and Tofu in Spicy Garlic Sauce
Unstuffed Baby Eggplants
Eggplant Pancakes Florentine
Nasu Dengaku (Japanese Eggplants Broiled with Miso)
Vegan Eggplant “Parmesan”
Cumin Rice with Eggplant and Peas
Moroccan Eggplant Salad with Preserved Lemon
Chickpeas and Barley in Red Lentil and Eggplant Sauce
Baba Ganoush Vegetable Plate
Almost-Instant Hummus Ghanoush
Rigatoni with Zucchini and Eggplant
Zucchini Spirals with Fresh Vegetable Sauce
Crockpot Eggplant and Tomato Stew with Garbanzo Beans
Cambodian Vegetarian Stew
Farmers’ Market Quinoa
Roasted Vegetable Napoleons
Pasta with Roasted Vegetables and White Bean Pesto