I absolutely love ratatoullie. It seems so sinful with it's deep and savory flavors, but it's incredibly healthy! It's comforting, it's easy to make, and it's extremely versatile. You can use it as a chunky topping on pasta or quinoa for a filling vegetarian meal, or you can serve it as an accompaniment to animal protein. I like to serve mine with roasted chicken.
1 large can crushed tomatoes
1 large (or two small) eggplant
1 large (or two small) zucchini squash
1 large (or two small) yellow squash
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon thyme
salt and pepper to taste
*You can also add bell peppers, additional herbs, onions, or whatever else you have on hand. This dish originated as a peasants dish to warm the winter months, so anything you want to throw in it will be fine. Put your signature on it!
To start your dish, wash and slice your eggplant into discs. They don't have to be super thin. You want some good bite to your pieces. Once they are sliced, set them on a baking dish covered with a paper towel, and sprinkle with salt. Don't skip this step! By letting the eggplant sweat, it draws out the enzyme that can make eggplant bitter. Let sit for about 20 minutes, until you notice little beads collecting on the surface of the eggplant. You can prep the rest of the dish while this develops. Wipe the beads and salt off of the slices with a paper towel. Set aside.
Next, cut your squash into discs. Set aside.
To make the sauce, I use one large can of crushed plum tomatoes from Trader Joe's. Pour the entire contents of the can into a baking dish. Dice up your fresh garlic to add to the sauce. You can also use dried or granulated garlic if you don't have fresh garlic on hand. Next add your salt, pepper, thyme and olive oil to the sauce. Give it a good stir, and then add your vegetables. Give it one more good stir, and then cover with foil.
Place it in the oven on 400 degrees for about 45 minutes, but make sure you check on it to avoid overcooking the tomato sauce.
Let cool, and serve with your choice of sides! Enjoy!