Ever since having seen the darling Pixar film, Ratatouille, I’ve wanted to try this classic French dish. I didn’t get a chance to eat it in Paris, so a while after coming home, I finally decided I would just have to attempt it myself. I adapted this recipe to my taste, since it had the movie-style layered veggies, instead of the more traditional chunks. It’s just so purdy that way!
- 1-2 Cups tomato sauce
- 2 Minced garlic cloves
- 3-4 Sprigs thyme, or more if you’re feeling generous like I was
- 2 TBSP Olive oil
- A Shake of chili flakes, to taste
- 1 Eggplant, peeled and sliced
- 1-2 yellow squash, sliced
- 1 Zucchini, sliced
- 1 Red bell pepper, sliced
- 2-3 Medium potatoes, sliced
- Salt and black pepper
- Oil Spray
- 1 TBPS Butter
- 1 TBSP Flour
- 1 Cup Milk
- 1/8 tsp Nutmeg
- Salt and pepper
I made extra bechamel sauce, and used it all as well as using some additional tomato sauce, because what can I say, I like things saucy, and I definitely was happy with the level of sauciness. I also totally browned my flour as the recipe warned me not to do, and it still tasted delicious, so if this happens to you, do not weep.
- Parboil the potato slices in salted water.
- To make the bechamel- heat your milk and set aside. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and cook 1-2 minutes, avoid turning it brown. Add the milk in bits and stir well to avoid lumps. season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and cook till thick.
- Spray your baking dish with oil. Spread a layer of tomato sauce, garlic, thyme, chili flakes, salt and olive oil. Drizzle the bechamel on top and swirl it in.
- Layer your veggies on top of this. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with more salt, pepper, and thyme.
- Cover and bake for 60 minutes, or until all the veggies are cooked to satisfaction.
- Serve with crusty bread, or over cheese grits if you’re feeling southern. It would also be delicious on pasta, such as shells.
The layer of sauce…
And the veggies on top. I didn’t peel my eggplant, because isn’t it pretty? But the skins did not soften while cooking, and I regretted that while eating it. So learn from my mistakes and peel the eggplant.
All spiced up and ready for the oven. I just wanna stare at it, because it’s too pretty to bake.
This is how it comes out of the oven. The veggies sink into the sauce and cook to perfection. We scooped it out and ate it with a crusty baguette. The flavors were soft and comfortable and homey, just the kind of thing you’d want to eat every winter week.
Verdict: 7 out of 10. Would definitely make again, although with peeled eggplant, and next time I want to try it on pasta or rice.