This is a new feature here on Little White Apron. Every now and then I’ll choose a movie that is either about food or has a very distinctive food scene, then I’ll feature that food here. Since school just got out for the summer and the zucchinis, squashes, eggplants and peppers are about to be in abundance, I thought Ratatouille would be a great way to kick it off.
If you’re not familiar with the 2007 Disney movie Ratatouille, it’s about a rat, named Remy, who has dreams of becoming a chef. I know what you’re thinking. A movie about food and a rat? But hey, it’s Disney. So it works.
There are different ways of preparing ratatouille. In the movie it’s made in layers. So that’s what I did here. I suspect you might have a better chance of getting kids to eat it if it looks the way it does in the movie.
- 2 Tble olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce or tomato puree (I used San Marzano)
- 1 tsp salt
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 Tble fresh thyme
- 1 large or 2 small eggplants
- 1 large zucchini
- 3 or 4 large yellow squash
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 2 Tble fresh basil
- salt + pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Trim the ends off the eggplant, zucchini, squash and red bell pepper. Slice vegetables to a 1/8″ thickness. Place eggplant slices on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Let slices sit for 20 minutes to pull out the bitter juices. Rinse eggplant slices, pat dry and set aside. Pour 1 Tble olive oil in the bottom of a 10-12 inch circular or oval baking dish. Spread tomato sauce evenly over olive oil. Season with salt, garlic, oregano and thyme. Arrange vegetable slices over tomato sauce in concentric circles starting from the outer edge working towards the center. Alternate eggplant, zucchini, squash, pepper. Drizzle remaining olive oil over vegetables. Sprinkle basil, salt and pepper on top. Cover with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit or a piece of aluminum foil. Bake 40-45 minutes until vegetables are done.
I served ours with a side of couscous and a dollop of goat cheese on top. It would also be delicious with a nice risotto and topped with some parmesan.