July 11, 2017

A dish almost too pretty to eat (Summer veggie Ratatouille like the movie)

Hi friends!  No recap post of this weekend because I did not have my phone with me all weekend! So now, here we are back on Tuesday with yummy food!

I am the resident mac and cheese maker for family gatherings.  People love it and the best part is there are never leftovers to take home and tempt me.  For Father's Day there was a much lighter crowd and I am doing the Eat Local Challenge so I decided to use what I had on hand and make something a little healthier.  I had eggplant, zucchini, squash and tomatoes.  Sounded like a perfect opportunity for ratatouille to me!

I decide to make it fancy like a food blogger should and fan out the veggies like I hear they do in the movie.  Had I planned on this dish and didn't have wonky produce from someone's garden, I would have gotten bigger zucchinis to make it even.  But, mine were smaller, as was the neck of the squash, so I made do.  I also forgot the bell pepper, but we did not miss it.

This takes a but of time, but the taste and presentation are so worth it! I did this over two days. I did all the slicing and onion cooking the night before and refrigerated and then assembled and baked the next morning.  I toted it the hour to my grandmother's house and reheated it for 10 minutes to get it hot.  There were no seconds of this to be had even with the reduced crowd. everyone raved about how great it tasted.  Except my odd parents that refused to try it.  Where did I come from?  Try this, it screams summer and is so delightful!  Full recipe to follow the montage.  Linking up with Meal Plan Monday over at Southern Plate and others!

Beautiful Ratatouille like the movie!
I just love pretty dishes like this!
Beautiful Ratatouille like the movie!
The beautiful cast.  I even chopped up the bell pepper and totally forgot it!
Beautiful Ratatouille like the movie!
I just really liked this picture.  But you can also see how I cut my onion.
Beautiful Ratatouille like the movie!
Brown them up until they look like this
Beautiful Ratatouille like the movie!
Add some tomato paste and mix well.
Beautiful Ratatouille like the movie!
This step is not necessary but I like to do it to remove some bitterness.
Beautiful Ratatouille like the movie!
It's like I'm at the casino of veggies!
Beautiful Ratatouille like the movie!
Spread your onions on the bottom
Beautiful Ratatouille like the movie!
And then stack those beautiful veggies like so
Beautiful Ratatouille like the movie!
Sprinkle some basil, salt, pepper and garlic on top.
Beautiful Ratatouille like the movie!
Make this parchment contraption.  I just laid a piece on top and cut around the pan, it doesn't have to be perfect.
Beautiful Ratatouille like the movie!
After 45 minutes you have this delightful dish.  

Beautiful Ratatouille like the Movie!

Ingredients:
One large eggplant, sliced
one large onion, sliced
two tablespoons tomato paste
one large or two small yellow squash, sliced
one large or two small zucchini, sliced
two tomatoes, sliced
4 large basil leaves, cut into ribbons
4 cloves garlic, minced
handful of Parmesan cheese for garnish
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400.  Salt both sides of sliced eggplant and place on paper towels to sweat.  Flip over after 10 minutes.  Rinse and pat dry.  While eggplant is sweating, heat a tablespoon of oil in a cast iron skillet and add onions.  Cook for 20 minutes, stirring often.  Stir in tomato paste and mix well. Spread the tomato-ey onions evenly over the skillet.  Layer veggies like you see above (I don't know how to type that).  Sprinkle with basil and garlic and season with salt and pepper.  Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit just over the the skillet and then fold in fours.  Cut across the middle to make a hole (see pic above).  Cook in preheated oven for 50 minutes.  Sprinkle with cheese and serve.

Happy Cooking!

Missy

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