Friday, September 9, 2011

Ratatouille Movie Night

Every Wednesday at Chez Bowden it’s Pizza Movie Night.  Sometimes we have pizza, sometimes we have rotisserie chicken and potato salad, sometimes we have Subway, but it’s “Pizza Movie Night”.  Well, this week I asked my kids what they wanted to do on Wednesday and they requested…nay…demanded ratatouille movie night – to both watch and eat ratatouille.  I won’t even start on how awesome my kids are because they’ll eat ANYTHING, I’ll just finish my story.

When I met Casey, he would just throw stuff in a pot and call it dinner.  He was the master of doctoring up a boxed mix.  He used to make this version of ratatouille that was just a bunch of sliced up squash and tomatoes and stuff, sautéed in a little bit of salad dressing, then baked off in the oven with cheese.  The other day when the kids requested ratatouille I decided to do a little research because other than Casey’s ratatouille, I had never had it.  Turns out he wasn’t that far off.  According to Mark Bittman, you take a bunch of vegetables (usually involving some sort of squash and/or eggplant, sometimes with potatoes and mushrooms, usually including onions and tomatoes) and some herbs and seasonings, layer them in a dish, and bake them until they’re nice and soft.  I took that method and added a little sauce and voila!  Awesome.  The kids couldn’t get enough.
Various vegetables, sliced into similarly thick slices.
(I used:
2 smallish-medium summer squash
2 smallish-medium zucchini
1 small red onion
4 medium tomatoes)

¼ cup Balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp dried minced garlic
1 tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried parsley

¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese

Wash and dry your vegetables.  Slice into approx ¼ inch slices (slice tomatoes a bit thicker because they don’t hold up to the roasting time otherwise).  Using a 9X9 inch baking dish that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray (or 4-6 individual sized baking dishes), layer the veggies, lightly seasoning every other layer with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. 
In a medium bowl, combine ingredients for your sauce and whisk until well mixed.  Spoon the sauce over the top of the veggies – don’t worry about it only being on the top layer because there is a pretty significant amount of sauce for the vegetables and it will run down to the lower layers.  Set your baking dish(es) on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for an hour to an hour and a half(closer to an hour if you’re doing individual sized dishes or if your vegetables are pretty soft – longer if you have more vegetables or if you are cooking potatoes). During the last 15 minutes of cooking, remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle with each of your cheeses.  Return pan to the oven and continue baking until the cheese is golden and bubbly.

1 comment:

  1. This actually looks really good! For some reason I thought this dish had a "marinara" type sauce in it but do not believe me bc I am clueless and I have never made it, either! But now I want to!!!