Ratatouille is an elegant yet simple dish that will fill you up (believe me, I speak from personal experience) and leave you feeling guilt-free when you’ve finished the meal. This classic French dish also works with plenty of lifestyles and diets — vegetarian, paleo or even a low carb. The veggies have a good portion of dietary fiber and are naturally low in sugar.
The beauty of the dish comes from the colorful vegetables and a neat presentation that shows them off. So, the way I always make it is just like in the namesake movie: a tight spiral of eggplant, yellow squash, and zucchini, along with red and yellow bell peppers. To keep it light, I use a simple tomato sauce as the base, no heavy béchamel to be found here!
Serve this gorgeous vegetable dish with some French bread or a charcuterie platter. Or if you prefer, let it wow you by itself.Print
Try this simple ratatouille for a guilt-free dinner that will satisfy.
Ceramic or oven-safe round or oval baking dish
1/2 medium white onion, finely chopped
1 can of tomato paste (6 oz.)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup of water
1 baby eggplant, thinly sliced
1 small yellow squash, thinly sliced in rounds
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced in rounds
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
5 sprigs of fresh rosemary
A pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, to taste
Grated Parmesan for garnish
Add the olive oil to a small saucepan over medium heat. When the pan is warm throw in the finely chopped onion and sauté for about 3 minutes, until onions are translucent.
Add the tomato paste and water to the saucepan and mix. Add salt and pepper and simmer an additional 4 to 5 minutes. Once the sauce is smooth, pour into the bottom of an oven-safe baking dish, covering the bottom. Cover with foil and set aside.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Take all of your sliced vegetables and layer them in an alternating pattern, making short stacks of multi-colored sliced veggies. I usually start with eggplant on the bottom of the stack, then squash, zucchini, and the bell peppers.
As you are making your stacks, lay them into the casserole dish so they form a tube that spirals from the outside all the way to the middle.
Once the vegetables are packed into the dish, you can start seasoning. Top the vegetables with the rosemary sprigs, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes. Finally, drizzle with olive oil.
Next, cover the dish with a sheet of parchment paper, trimmed to fit the dish. (Cut the paper as needed.)
Place in the oven for 30 minutes, check, then cook for another 15.
Once the vegetables are soft and tender and the sauce is bubbling through, take the ratatouille out of the oven. Grate Parmesan over the top to finish and you are ready to serve.
(Note: The more tightly packed the veggies, the longer they will take to cook.)