Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Bake Time: 40-45 Minutes
1-1/2 Cups tomato puree
1/2 Large onion, diced small
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 Tablespoon olive oil, divided
2 Small zucchini squash (green and/or yellow)
1 Small eggplant
1 Red bell pepper
Fresh thyme (about 1 tablespoon of leaves)
Salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Put tomato puree, garlic, onion and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in the bottom of a 10 inch oval baking dish. Mix gently to combine. Salt and pepper to taste.
Trim ends off the zucchini and the eggplant. Trim ends off the red pepper and remove the core. Using a sharp knife (or mandoline, if you are brave!) cut the squash and pepper into very thin slices, about 1/16th inch thick.
Arrange slices, alternating as you go, on top of the tomato sauce. Start on the outer edge, overlapping so just a bit of the flat surface of each vegetable can be seen. Continue until you reach the middle. You will probably have some veg left over – that’s ok – just nibble them or save for a salad.
Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the veggies and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle fresh thyme leaves across the top.
Cut a piece of parchment to fit just inside the dish. Lay it gently over the vegetables and bake in preheated oven 40-45 minutes. Once the tomato sauce is bubbly and the veggies are cooked through (but not soggy) and brown on the edges, your ratatouille is done.
Remove the parchment and cool slightly. Serve as a main over a bed of mashed potatoes or your favorite grains, or as a fantastic side – pairs really nicely with grilled meat or fish and a bit of crusty bread. Heavy sigh…vegetable heaven.
Ratatouille (ra-da-too-ee) hails from France and is basically a stewed vegetable dish. Traditionally it is tomato, eggplant, zucchini, onion, garlic and seasoning (Herbs de Provence is the norm). It is cooked all together until tender, or sometimes cooked separately and then combined. It can be served hot or cold. Vegetables can be sliced or chopped. This version bakes up like a dream, the super thin slices make all the difference, and the simple seasoning is perfect, the flavors just pop. If you don’t think you like Ratatouille, do yourself a favor and try this version – you’ll be glad you did.
Most of these vegetables grow really well in Alaska (especially zucchini) and if you don’t garden yourself, seek out the local farm stands or even a grocery store that carries local produce. This dish really showcases Alaska-grown!
Eggplants can be tricker to grow in our climate, but not impossible! Think greenhouse to start…