I am a big steak and potato kinda girl. But I also love getting my veggies on. Sometimes I don’t feel satisfied when eating just veggies, but then in walks ratatouille. No, I am not talking about the movie, Ratatouille. Even though that movie is so cute. I am talking about the classic French dish.
Let’s get some history on. The word ratatouille derives from the Occitan ratatolha and is related to the French ratouiller and tatouiller, expressive forms of the verb touiller, meaning “to stir up”. From the late 18th century, in French, it merely indicated a coarse stew. The modern ratatouille – tomatoes as a foundation for sautéed garlic, onions, zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, marjoram, fennel and basil, or bay leaf and thyme, or a mix of green herbs like herbes de Provence.
I am taking a slightly more modern approach to this classic dish. The version that I am made is a confit byaldi which is a variation on the traditional French dish ratatouille. It gets it’s name from the Turkish dish “İmam bayıldı”, which is a stuffed eggplant. Confit bayaldi, differed from ratatouille by not frying the vegetables, removing peppers and adding mushrooms. I love taking the old recipes and making them healthier without sacrificing any of the flavor. Adding the mushrooms really helps give this dish a hearty feeling, makes you feel satisfied after you are done.
I have found that the flavor really does intensify itself if you make it the day before and let it sit overnight. This would make a great dish for those who like to cook for the entire week in one day. Even though this is great on its own, I paired mine up with some al dente pasta so that way I can still feed the entire family on a budget.
- 2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 2 zucchini, thinly sliced
- 2 large yellow squash, thinly sliced
- 1 eggplant, thinly sliced
- 3 tb extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, garlic
- 1/2 ts rosemary
- 1/4 ts parsley
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 1 large bell pepper, chopped & seeded
- 1 large portabella mushroom top,
- 1 cup chopped tomato, with juices
- 2 tb olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/4 ts fresh basil, sliced
- 1/4 ts fresh thyme, minced
- salt & pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 375˚F.
In a small bowl combine 3 tb extra virgin olive oil, 2 garlic cloves, garlic, 1/2 ts rosemary, 1/4 ts parsley, and salt & pepper, to taste. Whisk until well combined. Set to the side.
Place 2 tablespoons in a large pan with deep sides. Add in red onion, carrots, mushrooms, bell peppers sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add in garlic. Sauté for 5 more minutes.
Add in tomatoes and juices. Turn down heat and cook on simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Add in the fresh basil, thyme, salt and pepper. Once cooked pour into the bottom of the baking dish. Spread out evenly.
Using a knife thinly slice the eggplant, squash, zucchini, tomato. Start to arrange the sliced in the baking dish by alternating between the colors, over lapping slightly so the colors show through. Start on the outside and work your way to the center.
Take the oil mixture from step two and pour over the top of the vegetables. Cover baking dish; place in oven and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven. Carefully remove cover from baking dish and place back in over. Continue cooking for another 10-15 minutes. Serve hot.