Using all your summer vegetables like zucchini, summer squash,and eggplant all in a one dish casserole for a healthy and delicious dinner of ratatouille.
If you have followed my bucket list, you will have noticed that Ratatouille is on it. I have always wanted to try making ratatouille ever since I saw the Disney movie with the same name. Loved the movie by the way. Although in all honesty I was a bit hesitant, hesitant because I thought it would be hard and hesitant because of the different vegetables in it, namely: eggplant and yellow summer squash (yes, even the simplest squash ever).
My first experience with eggplant I
hated disliked it so much. It was one of the first dishes I prepared for Craig – baked eggplant. It was not good, although Craig never told me so. I wanted to try it because it was one of those meals he remembered from his mission to Italy and I was trying to be a good wife and cook food he liked. Little did I know pretty much anything I made Craig would eat, he is thoughtful that way and not a picky eater. I am confident I did a poor job preparing the eggplant and it might have been a bland eggplant too but that was the last time I prepared eggplant for anyone.
And then, well, eventually I became a less picky eater and willing to experiment with new foods and flavors. AND I discovered a recipe that made ratatouille look simple. All that was needed were a few key ingredients, some spices, and a bit of cutting and dicing. Finally I purchased another eggplant, had the yellow summer squash, zucchini, and thyme growing in my little garden. and the garlic, onions, and other spices were in my pantry. I carved out a little time , and you need a little time, even though it is easy preparation, the ratatouille needs to bake for 45 to 55 minutes.
Let’s get cooking.
- 1 small zucchini - (sliced to about 1/4 inch)
- 1 small yellow summer squash (sliced to about 1/4 inch)
- 1/4 red pepper - sliced/diced (sliced or diced)
- 1 small eggplant (slicedin 1/4 inch rounds)
- 1/4 white onion (diced)
- 2 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1 TBSP Italian seasoning
- 1 to 2 TBSP olive oil
- 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- a few sprinkles of Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
- goat cheese (enough to sprinkle on top)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Drain the extra liquid off the diced tomatoes
- In a baking dish pour your diced tomatoes
- Scatter your diced onions and minced garlic cloves over the top of the tomatoes
- Season with the 1 TBSP Italian seasoning and some salt and pepper
- Alternating with the eggplant, zucchini, and summer squash place your vegetables in the tomato/onion standing up (I suggest you view the picture to help with understanding)
- After you have placed your eggplant, zucchini, and summer squash (you may not use all of it) in the whole dish, sprinkle with your diced red peppers
- Pour your olive oil over the top of the vegetables
- Sprinkle with some additional Italian seasoning, the salt and pepper,and minced up sprigs of thyme
- Lay on top parchment paper that has been cut to fit the inside of your baking dish (I just laid the parchment paper on top of the dish, traced, and cut it out)
- Bake at 375 degrees for 45 to 55 minutes (you want your vegetables tender but not dry)
- Sprinkle with your goat cheese and feel free to place back in the oven to brown the goat cheese (if you do this, watch closely)
Enjoy these delicious flavorful vegetables!
Are there any recipes that you were scared to make because of difficulty that you discovered to be easy?