A French peasant dish originally but undeniably this Pixar style is a pretty one. The only thing that is difficult in this dish is the spelling of its name – RATATOUILLE – but actually can be cooked simplified if you do it in an organized way. It’s a dish that looks good being Pixar-style. If you cannot find the other needed ingredients, you can actually substitute with either potatoes, or squash of same size, in your country.
For this method, you have to be a bit more picky with your vegetables and the tools you use. Your zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, and eggplant should all be the same size, so when you slice them they are all uniform. If you can’t find an eggplant that is skinny, a regular eggplant will do, but you’ll have to cut the larger slices smaller so you can properly layer the vegetables. A sharp knife here is also key — without a sharp knife, slicing the vegetables will take longer, making this dish seem like it’s never going to prepared (and you haven’t even started to layer the vegetables yet). The tomatoes in this recipe also take some prep before you can slice them — they need to be blanched so they can be easily peeled.
To easily peel your tomatoes, cut small crosses at the top and bottom of the tomato before blanching. When the skin starts to peel back, take the tomatoes out of the water and put them in ice water or run them under cold water to stop them from cooking.
If you want to speed up the process of preparing the vegetables, use a mandoline. If you choose to use one, be VERY VERY CAREFUL, as you can quite easily shave off a chunk of your finger.
▪︎ Requires vegetables that are of similar size
▪︎ Time consuming to slice and layer vegetables so you would want to do this only occasionally.
▪︎ Requires a ring mould for plating to look nice
▪︎ More dishes to clean than the traditional style
▪︎ Adjust the following number of VEGGIES depending on the amount of the size of your dish. Start with 1 piece each except for the tomatoes.
– yellow squash
🌱 For the sauce:
▪︎ red bell peppers
▪︎ olive oil
▪︎ Herbes de Provence &/or, dried &/or fresh rosemary, basil or seasoning herb of your choice
▪︎ unbits or scraps from sliced veggies
🌻 Instructions :
▪︎ Cut small crosses at the top and bottom of the tomato. Blanch in boiling water for about 45 secs then transfer tomatoes in iced cold water quickly before peeling the skin off.
▪︎ After you have removed the skin, slice tomatoes thinly with sharp knife.
▪︎ Slice the eggplant, tomatoes, yellow squash, and zucchini into approximately ¹⁄₁₆-inch (1-mm) rounds, then set aside. Use the mandoline for faster slicing but be EXTRA CAREFUL as it can cut off a chunk of your finger !!
▪︎ Make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a pot or an oven-safe pan over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion, garlic, and bell peppers until soft, about 10 minutes. Season with Herbes de Provence, salt and pepper, then add the unbits or scraps from veggies. You may add dried rosemary for extra flavor. Stir until the ingredients are fully incorporated.
▪︎ Remove from heat, add fresh rosemary which is optional then blend until smooth.
▪︎ Spread sauce on the pan like a nice pizza. Save extra sauce for later use.
▪︎ Arrange the sliced veggies, in alternating patterns, (for example, eggplant, tomato, yellow squash, zucchini) on top of the sauce from the outer edge to the middle of the pan. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
▪︎ Cover the pan with pre-cut parchment paper with hole in the middle and bake for 40 minutes.
▪︎ Uncover, then bake for another 20 minutes, until the vegetables are softened.
▪︎Use a ring mould for plating to form a nice rounded shape of each serving of this dish.
▪︎ You may enjoy this dish with a soup, toast or vegan meat of your choice !