Ratatouille is a classic French vegetable stew that makes for a tasty and healthy side dish or a hearty vegetarian meal. I like to serve it with Perfectly Moist Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts and Basic Biryani Rice.
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Julia Child revamped the original Provence recipe by making a thick ‘stewed’ sauce and then artfully arranging slices of vegetables on top before baking. It is as beautiful as it is delicious.
This recipe is one that you’ll feel good about serving to your family. The casserole makes a great light lunch or vegetarian dinner. Because the vegetables are roasted, they become tender and sweet. Even your pickiest eater will enjoy them.
WHAT IS IN A RATATOUILLE CASSEROLE?
Since this healthy side dish was created to use the beautiful bounty of vegetables in late summer, zucchini, tomatoes, and eggplant are standard in the recipe. Adding thin slices of potato will make the dish heartier and provide another texture.
The sauce brings more tomatoes, onions, garlic, carrots, and red peppers to the dish, simmered together as a rich, zesty sauce. It’s layered on the bottom of the casserole and bakes up around the layers of vegetables.
The key to making this dish is picking vegetables that are similar in width and using a mandolin or a food processor to slice them as thin as possible.
ADDITIONS TO RATATOUILLE
- If you aren’t keeping the dish vegan, a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese in the sauce and on top of the layered vegetables adds saltiness and compliments the tomatoes.
- A layer of cheese sauce or a bechamel sauce over the tomato sauce is a rich addition.
- Play with the herbs. Keep a French flair by adding Herbs de Provence instead of the Italian seasoning.
- Add canned green chiles, cumin and chili powder for a South of the Border treat.
EQUIPMENT TO MAKE THIS RECIPE EASIER
- Gramercy Kitchen Co. Adjustable Stainless Steel Mandoline Food Slicer – Comes with One Pair Cut-Resistant Gloves || Vegetable Onion Potato Chip French Fry Julienne Slicer
- Cuisinart FCT193-18 French Classic Tri-Ply Stainless 3-Quart Saucepot with Cover – This pot is one that goes from the stovetop, or the oven, right into the dishwasher.
- Cuisinart French Classic Tri-Ply Stainless 12-Inch French Skillet with Helper Handle – You’ll feel like a real 5-star chef with this skillet.
- Cuisinart 44-22 Contour Stainless 6-Quart, 3-Piece Pasta Pot with Cover
- CorningWare French White 4-Quart Covered Casserole
I hope you enjoy this healthy side dish recipe. If you’re looking for a few more ideas for a Meatless Monday meal, this recipe for Easy Vegetable Lo Mein is quick and tasty.
For a meatless comfort meal, give Spaghetti Aglio e Olio a try. Or enjoy a steaming cup of The Best Cheese Soup or Cuban Black Bean Soup to curl up with and relax.Print
- Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
- Yield: Serves 6
Roasted vegetables arranged in a beautiful pattern over a spiced tomato sauce is a healthy side dish that makes a satisfying meatless meal or light lunch.
3 fresh, ripe tomatoes
1 thin eggplant (chinese or Italian eggplant)
2 russet potatoes
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, halved and very thinly sliced
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 cups canned diced tomatoes
2 jarred roasted red peppers, chopped
1 small carrot, grated
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
1 bay leaf
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large oval baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
Use a mandolin or food processor with the slicing attachment to slice the tomatoes, zucchini, potatoes, and eggplant as thinly as possible – about ⅛-inch thick.
Bring a large pot of water to a full rolling boil and add the sliced potatoes. Allow them to cook for about 3 or 4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
Lightly toss all of the vegetable slices with salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Set aside.
In a skillet over medium heat, add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, onions, and garlic. Saute the vegetables until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.
Pour in the canned tomatoes, red peppers, carrot, Italian seasoning, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf. Stir to combine and simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaf.
Spoon the sauce into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
Using the thinly sliced vegetables, arrange the slices in an alternating pattern along the outer edge of the dish. Follow the outer edge of the dish and work in a circle towards the middle until the dish is full.
Cover the baking dish with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 40 -45 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for another 10 minutes.
Serve garnished with parsley or a sprinkle of fresh rosemary.
This dish can be served either hot or cold.
- Prep Time: 40 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: French
Keywords: healthy side dish, vegetable casserole, vegan, vegetarian, French cuisine, French recipes, roasted vegetables,