Oven-Roasted Ratatouille

summer veggie ratatouille 1_small
This is one of the prettiest side dishes I’ve ever made. It’s also one of the cheapest, because summer veggies are so cheap right now (or free, if you have a good garden!)

If you have an abundance of summer veggies — zuchinni, yellow squash, tomatoes etc. – this is the most perfect way to use them up. It is also, incidentally, the best way I’ve found to get my kids to eat these summer veggies. They call these “pizza veggies” because they’re basically fresh veggies dressed up to taste like pizza.

summer veggie ratatouille 3_small

It’s important to choose veggies as close to the same diameter as possible (so one doesn’t overwhelm the other height-wise in the pan), and then cut them in uniform thickness. If you have one veggie that is much thicker — the eggplant is often the culprit here — you can slice it in half length-wise and put the halves in. I did this here:

We like to use crusty bread to dip in all the marinara juices at the bottom of the pan!

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Oven-Roasted Ratatouille with Summer Veggies
Look for vegetables close to the same diameter, so your slices are uniform in width. Thanks to Budget Bytes for this recipe. I only adapted it slightly — more marinara, fresh herbs and a blend of cheeses.

1 1/4 cup marinara sauce
1 small yellow onion
1 small eggplant
1 medium zucchini
1 medium yellow squash
3 medium roma tomatoes
Pinch of salt and pepper
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
1 teaspoon fresh chopped oregano
1 cup shredded Italian blend cheese (asiago, parmesan, mozzarella)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread 3/4 cup of marinara sauce over the bottom of a deep pie dish or a oval casserole dish. Coarsely dice the onion and sprinkle over the marinara.

Thinly slice the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, and tomatoes (about 1/4 inch thick). The vegetables are easiest to layer when they are the same diameter, so if one of your vegetables is much bigger around than the others, slice the rounds in half or into quarters to make it more similar in size. Layer the vegetables in the casserole dish like dominos. Fit as many of the vegetable slices in as possible.

Season the top of the layered vegetables lightly with salt, pepper, dried basil, and oregano. Lastly, add the remaining 1/2 cup of marinara to the top of the vegetables (it doesn’t have to be even).

Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the foil and add the shredded cheese to the top. Return the dish to the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.

Serves 6.

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