Is This THE Ratatouille
The person who gave me this recipe
said it was from chef Thomas Keller
of Napa's French Laundry Restaurant.
The rumor is, Keller was a consultant for
the film Ratatouille and that is where
this recipe came from. I have no idea if this
is true but it's a great story, so we will
go with it. Of course, I wouldn't know
about the film Ratatouille because I
learned a long time ago that if I go
to a children's animated film I
fall into an enchanted and magical
sleep, much like a fairy princess.
So why waste $10 on a nap?
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
1 1/2 cup tomato puree
2 tabl. olive oil, divided
1 small eggplant (I used the graffiti eggplants)
1 yellow squash
1 large red bell pepper
sprigs of fresh thyme
salt & pepper
1/4" slices of goat cheese
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Spray oval casserole with cooking spray.
Place casserole on top of a piece of parchment
paper and trace the outline of the base.
Cut out parchment oval and set aside.
Place the tomato puree in the bottom
of the casserole and add the sliced garlic
and the chopped onions, add one tabl. of
olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Stir.
Slice the zucchini, yellow squash, red
pepper and eggplant into 1/8" slices.
It is best to slice the eggplant last as it
tends to discolor quickly. I use a mandoline
slicer set to thick slice. You don't want
paper thin slices or they will become
too mushy during baking. I find it is
best to slice the pepper with a knife.
Pick up rounds of eggplant, yellow squash,
zucchini and pepper and layer them around
the edges of the casserole. Then fill up the
space in the center. Drizzle the remaining
1 tabl. of olive oil over the veggies and
season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the
leaves of the fresh thyme on top.
I usually have leftover veggies so I make a
small casserole to have for lunch the next day.
Cover with the oval of parchment
paper and gently press down.
Bake for 45 to 55 minutes.
The tomato puree should be bubbling
and the veggies should be cooked
but not mush.
If you make the small casserole
it will not need as much time.
I serve this on a bed of couscous
with a slice of goat cheese on top.