Preparation for this dish requires a great deal of chopping, but the results are well worth it. Ratatouille is an interesting way to incorporate many different kinds of vegetables into a meal.
This is yet another meal that I found inspiration for on allrecipes.com. My finished product is somewhat saucier than the original. I have made a number of modifications to the original ratatouille recipe, including reducing the amount of cheese used and switching out some vegetables. Since mushrooms are a favorite in my house, I opted to use a full 10 oz package, as opposed to only 2 cups of sliced mushrooms. Given my aversion to fresh tomatoes, I substituted a 28 oz container of crushed, seasoned tomatoes. Finally, the original ratatouille recipe calls for eggplant, but I had more than enough vegetables without it.
When I made this dish tonight, I ended up using 1 zucchini and 1 yellow squash. Since yellow squash tends to have thicker skin, I sliced it very thin. Out of laziness, I skipped the fresh garlic cloves, opting to shake a little garlic powder on each layer of vegetables. While the resulting dish was flavorful, it was lacking that garlic zing. Next time, I’ll make the effort to mince and saute a few garlic cloves. Finally, make sure bake the Ratatouille in a dish that is large enough. I used a 2.5 qt casserole dish, and the vegetables were a little firmer than I would prefer, even with additional time. In the past, I have used a 9×13 baking dish that has allowed the vegetables to cook more quickly.
Yields 4-6 servings
3 cloves garlic, minced (or garlic powder)
2 tsp dried parsley
salt to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 zucchini, sliced
1/2 large onion, sliced into rings
10 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
28 oz can crushed tomatoes with Italian spices
1) Preheat oven to 350. Coat bottom of 13×9 baking dish with a small amount of crushed tomatoes.
2) Heat oil in skillet over medium heat and saute garlic until lightly browned.
3) Spread zucchini over bottom of prepared casserole dish, mixing in the sauteed garlic. Lightly salt and sprinkle this layer with cheese. Cover with a thin layer of crushed tomato.
4) Continue layering with the onion, mushroom and bell pepper, covering each layer with a sprinkling of salt, cheese and crushed tomato. Cover the top layer completely with crushed tomato.
5) Bake uncovered for 45 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.