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Ever since we watched the brilliant Pixar movie "Ratatouille", I knew I had to make it! Traditionally this is a peasant vegetable "stew", but honestly, Thomas Keller's adaptation of this dish (a tian, so I am told) has taken this to a new level. Simple healthy ingredients, impressive looking and absolutely satisfying. It's nice to try to buy all the vegetables the same diameter (easier to stack and layer), which is why I specify an Asian eggplant/aubergine. It's only because they are skinnier, but any one will work. You'll find that just a few veggies goes a long way. This is one of my all-time favorite dishes to prepare with children of any age!

 

2-3 fresh tomatoes, pureed with a pinch of sea salt

2 Tbsp olive oil, divided

3 tsp fresh thyme, basil, parsley, and/or oregano, finely chopped

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 Asian eggplant/aubergine

1 small zucchini

1 small yellow/summer squash

2-3 small plum tomatoes

1⁄2 red bell pepper, deseeded

Sea salt and pepper

 

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Pour tomato puree, 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and half of

    the chopped fresh herbs into a baking dish. Stir in the chopped shallot and garlic.

    Season with salt and pepper.

  • Using a mandolin, or a really sharp knife, thinly and evenly, slice the vegetables. Make the slices thin, about 1/8’ (3mm) thick. The thinner, the better!

  • Make mini-stacks of about 20 slices in sequence. Arrange a few stacks at a time into the prepared baking dish in a concentric spiral from the outer edge to the inside, fanning them out a bit so that you can see the top 1/8” of all the slices. “Stand” them up a little, so you can it as many vegetable slices in as possible, but you may still have some leftover veggies. Save the smaller rounds for the center of the dish.

  • Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and season with more salt and pepper. Sprinkle the remaining chopped herbs. Cover the dish with a piece of parchment paper cut to it just inside the dish rim, directly on top of the vegetable arrangement.

  • Bake for 40 minutes -1 hour (depending on how thick your vegetable slices are), until vegetables are soft, but not limp. Serve this impressive dish with pride! ;)

 

Click here for the traditional flavors of Curry Ratatouille or a Thai Green Curry variation.

© 2019 CONSCIOUS COOKING BY DESIGN, NYC

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