I am always the last to the party when it comes to movies; Disney’s Ratatouille, where the mouse is running around the kitchen took me a while to discover. I have heard of this dish that had originated in Nice, France in passing but never gave it much thought, like the movie. I am a little upset now that I never made it prior and want to save you from the same fate. Kudos to Juli Warfel Bitler, the original author of this recipe for getting us into the dish (and the movie).
This recipe is a “a French Provençal stewed vegetable dish” which basically means veggie goodness covered in a delicious tomato based sauce. The
sauce barely survived me making this recipe because I couldn’t stop dipping bread into it as I was cutting the vegetables.
This recipe is especially good for those who are in a CSA (Crop Sharing Alliance) because you will have a lot of veggies on hand. Although, it is recommended to go with the veggies that are in the recipe I encourage you to experiment a little bit. The parchment paper on top actively steams the food in it’s own juices and sauce to create tender and flavorful vegetables. I would serve this either as a Main or a Side.
Let’s quickly discuss mandolines (pictured to the right) – when I discovered what a mandoline was I immediately purchased one in hopes of cutting my cooking time down and having more precisely cut ingredients. This does that incredibly well, almost too well. I picked up the mandoline out of the box and immediately started this recipe with complete disregard. Needless to say, someone got their finger cut. This product works extremely well but learn from my mistakes and use the blade guard to cut your items.
Prep: 45 mins
Cook: 45 Mins
Yields: 4 servings
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 cup water
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1 small eggplant, trimmed and very thinly sliced
- 1 zucchini, trimmed and very thinly sliced
- 1 yellow squash, trimmed and very thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, cored and very thinly sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, cored and very thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, or to taste
- 3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Spread tomato paste into the bottom of a 10×10-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with onion and garlic and stir in 1 tablespoon olive oil and water until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and black pepper.
- Arrange alternating slices of eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, red bell pepper, and yellow bell pepper, starting at the outer edge of the dish and working concentrically towards the center. Overlap the slices a little to display the colors. Drizzle the vegetables with 3 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with thyme leaves. Cover vegetables with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit inside.
- Bake in the preheated oven until vegetables are roasted and tender, about 45 minutes. Serve with dollops of mascarpone cheese.