Friday, April 15, 2011

Foodie Fridays: Roasted Ratatouille

By Food o' del Mundo

Garden-fresh vegetables are perfect for making ratatouille.  Traditionally, this French vegetable dish is made in a sauté pan, with the vegetables being cooked individually depending upon how long each takes to cook.  The end result is delicious, but the process can be rather tedious.  The solution is to roast the vegetables.  In my recipe everything except for the tomatoes cook at the same time, while the tomatoes are added at the very end after the oven is turned off.  This way the tomatoes soften and get warm but stay juicy, while the additional time in the warm oven allows the other vegetables to caramelize a little more without blackening.  That said, the tomatoes can easily go in at the same time as the rest, but I probably would not halve them in that case.  This can be served over rice or pasta as a side dish or even a light main dish with a generous sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese.

Roasted Ratatouille

1 large eggplant or 3 Japanese eggplant, cut into chunks
2 zucchini, cut into chunks
1 each red, orange, and yellow bell pepper, cut into large dice
1 large red onion, cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 T. olive oil
2 tsp. fines herbes or Italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

Combine first five vegetables in a large roasting pan.  Toss with oil and seasonings.  Bake at 400 degrees 30-45 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender and slightly caramelized.  Turn off oven, toss in tomatoes, and put back in still-warm oven until tomatoes soften.  Toss again and serve over rice or pasta, topped with grated Parmesan.  Serves 6.

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