Ratatouille Two Ways
An easy weeknight ratatouille and the ratatouille your child wants after seeing the movie!

This time of year the thought of taking extra time to make a pretty and elegant ratatouille with scratch-made marinara may make your head spin. With all the harvesting, weeding, marketing, canning, distributing…. farmers and growers are overwhelmed! I know I am.  But I still want to make delicious, nourishing dishes with the summertime produce and herbs.

This easy ratatouille lets you chop ingredients as you go and cook them while prepping the next addition (unless you want to have them all in pretty bowls for a picture or two).  If you have a child who has seen the movie Ratatouille, they may look at you like my daughter did when you serve the easy ratatouille. So with a few extra steps you can make the lovely layered masterpiece from the movie (although mine has nothing on the rat’s beautiful spiral ratatouille from the movie).  For the layered ratatouille you could even use canned marinara sauce and skip straight to the layering. Rataouille taste better after the flavors marry so don’t be afraid to make extra and save leftovers for a second meal.

Easy Ratatouille

Cube equal parts:
Eggplant  (After cubing the eggplant mix it with some salt in a colander to draw out some of the moisture. Let sit for about 15 minutes then drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside. Note: A friend I talked to skips this step to make things quicker and easier)
Yellow squash
Sweet Red Pepper
Ripe Tomatoes

Finely chop several cloves of garlic.
Finely chop ½- 1 cup basil and a few springs of oregano

Heat 2 TBSP oil in an enameled cast ironed pot. Add the eggplant and cook about 5 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the pot and set aside.

Add 2 TBSP oil and chopped onion to the pot and cook about 5 minutes.
Add garlic and cook about 2 minutes.
Add squash and zucchini and cook about 5 minutes
Add peppers and cook about 5 minutes
Add tomatoes and cook about 10 minutes
Add eggplant and cook about 10 minutes.
Add chopped herbs and salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with some basil or other fresh herbs.

Ratatouille Like in the Movie

Thinly slice eggplant, squash, zucchini. I sliced mine about 1/3-1/4 of an inch but most ratatouille recipes call for thinner slices.

Place the eggplant in a colander and sprinkle with salt to draw out some of the moisture. Let sit for about 15 minutes then drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.

Cut a sweet red pepper into pieces about one inch in diameter.

Finely dice an onion and a few cloves of garlic.
Dice 2-3 slicing tomatoes.
Finely dice some basil and oregano. Have some thyme ready for sprinkling.

Heat a skillet over low- medium heat and add a couple of swirls of oil and the onions and then garlic.  Cook for about 5 minutes. Raise to medium heat and add the diced tomatoes and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the herbs and salt to taste. Reduce to the thickness of a marinara pasta sauce.

Remove from the heat. Place the marinara in a baking dish or assemble the ratatouille in the skillet on top of the sauce.  Layer slices of zucchini, eggplant and squash in a circular design on top of the marinara. Tuck the pieces of the red pepper in after layering the other three ingredients. Sprinkle fresh thyme or other finely diced herbs over the top.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes or longer if you chose thicker slices.
Remove from the oven.  If you’d like sprinkle the top with bread crumbs and parmesan cheese and return to the oven for about 5 minutes to melt the cheese and crisp the bread crumbs.

Remove from oven and enjoy!