It’s squash, eggplant and tomato season, and we all know what that means! It means ratatouille! We thought it would be fun to try to make it like they make it in the movie of the same name. Lots of other people have already recreated that recipe as closely as possible, so we thought we’d mix it up a bit. We decided to pre-cook everything, so that it got a little crispy. We decided to add potatoes and beets, because they’re nice thinly sliced and roasted, and because we’ve had them in abundance from the farm as well. And I cooked the eggplant separately, because I like it best crispy and roasted breadcrumbs, nuts and herbs. I cut the eggplant in large rounds, and we used it as a sort of plate for the ratatouille. Delicious!
Here’s Lulu’s To Sir with Love, the top song from 1967 from the movie released in 1967.
1 yellow squash
3 smallish beets (I used golden and bull’s eye, but regular is fine)
3 potatoes about as wide around as your squash
3 tomatoes about as wide around as your squash
2 T olive oil, plus more for roasting
1 plump clove garlic
handful of fresh herbs: rosemary, thyme, oregano, tarragon, chives
fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes of different colors, or one or two medium-sized tomatoes roughly chopped
1 t balsamic
1 T Butter
salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper
1 large eggplant, sliced across into big rounds, and prepared this way I added some pine nuts when I ground the bread crumbs.
Trim the squash and zucchini and slice into 1/8th inch thick rounds.
Preheat the oven to 425. Peel the beets and slice into 1/8th inch rounds. Toss them with enough olive oil to coat, and roast until starting to brown and caramelize on the edges. About fifteen minutes, maybe.
Bring a medium-large pot of salted water to a boil. Scrub the potatoes and slice into 1/8th inch rounds. Drop in the boiling water and cook until just tender, but still quite firm. About five or ten minutes. Drain, and let cool.
Slice the tomatoes into thin rounds.
In a medium-sized skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and herbs, and stir and fry for about a minute until the garlic starts to brown. Roughly chop the cherry tomatoes and add to the oil and garlic. (Or add the roughly chopped bigger tomatoes.) Stir and fry until the tomatoes are broken down and saucy. About fifteen minutes. Add the basil, balsamic, butter and salt and pepper.
Spread the tomato sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Alternating between squash, tomatoes, potatoes and beets, make a row on the outside edge of the baking dish, and then wind it around to fill up the middle. Drizzle some olive oil on the top. Cover with foil and bake at 425 for about half an hour. Remove the foil and bake another ten or so minutes until everything is tender inside and starting to brown on the edges.
Serve atop “plates” made of eggplant, with a green salad and some tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella, or whatever you like!