Friday, March 20, 2009


Sometimes you never know what you're going to be inspired by. I never in my wildest dreams thought that a cartoon with a rat in it would inspire me to cook.... yet it did. We've been watching Ratatouille at my house a lot lately. If you haven't seen it, it's about a little rat named Remy who wants to be a chef in Paris. In the end (spoiler) he cooks a dish for dark lanky food critic that knocks his socks off. It looked so good, I had to find out if it was a real dish, which is is, and if it was worth making, which it was!

With a little research I discovered
Ratatouille is a French Provencal dish that is normally served as a side dish and is normally served as a stew. I thought it looked much better as a baked dish. It would be better in the summer or early fall when all the squash is ripe. There were so many variations that I kind of made it up as I went. You can serve this over rice or with whatever grain you wish.

Diced tomatoes (canned or done yourself, I used canned to make it easier)
3 tomatoes (when you are picking out veggies for this dish think long and skinny!)
1 green pepper sliced in whole rings (I would use red next time, as I think the flavor would go better with the rest.
1 Japanese eggplant (these are the long skinny ones, we didn't have any here so I chopped a regular one in half and sliced it that way)
2 or 3 zucchini squash sliced very thin (everything in this recipe must be sliced thin)
1 yellow squash (I didn't have one)
3 cloves garlic chopped
1/2 medium sized onion chopped finely
Red pepper flakes
Dried thyme (fresh if you have it)
Bay leaves

In the bottom of your baking dish (I used a smaller oval one) spread the diced tomatoes. Throw in the chopped onion and garlic and mix. Add red pepper flakes and dried thyme. If you want you can add a little salt and pepper as well. After you have chopped all the veggies arrange them concentrically around the dish. Sprinkle with a little more thyme and red pepper flakes. Put bay leaves on top and cover with parchment paper. Cook for 35-40 minutes.

Serve with goats cheese (that's the recommended cheese, I did not use that as I'm not a huge goat cheese fan, and instead I used slices of Parmesan)

See it's a fairly simple dish! The thyme brings out sooo many great flavors in all the veggies. My kiddo really really liked it and he was excited that he got to eat something from a cartoon!!


Beth said...

We love ratatouille at our house too (both the food and the movie). I leave out the eggplant and add chicken.

Louise said...

How did I miss this post? This looks delicious!! We love the movie as well.