Many of the dishes I have posted thus far on my lovely little blog have not exactly been light and healthy. I’ve noticed this, you’ve noticed this, my waistline has definitely noticed this. My intent has been to share some of our favorite recipes with all of you wonderful people and that generally leads to me sharing comfort food (yum!). Unfortunately for our waistlines, and fortunately for our stomachs, Blythe and I need to eat all of the food I make for the blog… my tight pants have now convinced me that it’s time to enter into a phase of light summer cooking! So for the next few months my recipes will be focusing on healthier summer dishes from around the world and I could not be more excited! As much as we love comfort food, Blythe and I really eat dishes like this more often and I can’t wait to share some of our favorites with you!
The first summer recipe I’ve decided to share is Ratatouille! If you are a Disney fan, you’ve likely seen Ratatouille the movie and are somewhat familiar with this now famous dish. Traditionally a French peasant meal, it’s classically made in the style of a vegetable stew using whatever is growing in the garden.
After the Disney movie, Ratatouille, was released Remy’s (the main character) more sophisticated version of the dish became wildly popular. In Remy’s version, the vegetables are sliced thinly and baked so that they can be presented in a more beautiful way. Today, I’ve chosen to go the Disney route and make Remy’s version.
By the way, if you haven’t seen Ratatouille the movie, you should! Make this dish and have a family movie watching dinner party!
Okay, on to the dish. Here’s how you make Remy’s ratatouille:
Start by collecting and washing your veggies. I’m one of those weird kids who absolutely adores vegetables. I don’t think I’ve ever met a vegetable that I didn’t like. The same cannot be said for fruit, but that’s a story for a another day.
As I said, traditionally this dish utilizes whatever is growing in the garden. For my version, I use zucchini, eggplant, tomato, red onion, and bell pepper.
Slice all of the veggies into even and very thin slices.
If you aren’t a super fast chopper, you might want to think about investing in a mandolin. Mandolins are great for dishes like this, but can also be used for making homemade potato chips, veggie lasagna, coleslaw, carrot salad, and anything else that needs lots of thin slices. I’ve linked the mandolin we use below.
Spread a couple of tablespoons of olive oil all over the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Make sure the whole thing is covered so none of the veggies stick.
The next step is a little time consuming, but very easy.
Line the vegetables up in a repeating pattern to fill the entire pan.
Some people put a lot of effort into this step and make very neat rows, spiral patterns and even little roses in the middle. I can’t even begin to imagine how long that would take! Because the veggies aren’t all exactly the same diameter, making a pattern like this would mean painstakingly cutting them individually to the same size…then after all that, carefully lining them up in a pattern.
Goodness gracious!Ain’t nobody got time for that!
As you can see below, I lined my vegetables up in a repeating pattern, but was a little loosey goosey with the overall design. This definitely saved me some serious time.
If you have an afternoon to kill, you might as well go for a pretty pattern, but if you’re just trying to get dinner on the table don’t worry too much about it. The pattern won’t affect the taste.
Sprinkle over salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a little bit of fresh thyme and chopped basil.
Then, bake the ratatouille for 45 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
It will come out looking like this:
Roasty! Glorious! Wonderful! Hallelujah!
The flavor is delicate, summery, and fresh with just a hint of roasty-ness. It is oh so good.
And so healthy! You can have as much of this dish as you want with no guilt.
Thank you, Disney, for bringing the world’s attention to ratatouille.
Makes 1 9×13 inch pan full
- 2 Zucchini
- 2 Eggplants
- 6 Medium Tomatoes
- 2 Medium Red Onions
- 3 Bell Peppers (Assorted Colors)
- 2 tbs Olive Oil
- 2 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tbs Fresh Thyme (Minced)
- 1 tbs Fresh Basil (Chopped)
- Thinly slice all of the vegetables into even slices.
- Coat the bottom of a 9×13 inch pan in the olive oil so the vegetables won’t stick.
- Line the vegetables up in a repeating pattern until the entire pan is filled.
- Sprinkle over the seasonings and thyme.
- Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, sprinkle over the basil, and serve!
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