By Connor Cooks
I had never eaten ratatouille before, let alone cooked it. But it has always captured my imagination. I have seen bits and pieces of the Pixar movie of the same name and have also seen this dish in other media as well. Why does a dish made up of seemingly normal vegetables have so much hype around it?
I have zucchini, onions, and tomatoes growing in my garden. Although only the zucchinis are ripe. But that got me to thinking about ratatouille again. So, I decided to see what it is all about and make it myself. Making up a new recipe as I went.
Oh boy, I’m sure glad I made this. Let’s cut up some vegetables and make ratatouille!
- 1 large zucchini
- 1 eggplant
- 2 yellow onion
- 3 roma tomatoes
- 8 garlic cloves
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 sprig or 1.5 tbsp dried rosemary
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp butter
Make caramelized onion for the base. To do so, cut 1 whole onion into very thin half-moons. In a medium skillet melt the butter on low heat. Add the onions and salt. Cook on low, stirring occasionally until onions are very soft and jammy. Usually, they take on a brownish hue. About an hour. While the onion is caramelizing, cut the zucchini, eggplant, 1 yellow onion, and roma tomatoes into ¼ inch slices. Salt lightly.
Preheat the oven to 300°. On a baking dish, place the caramelized onion on the bottom and spread evenly. Sprinkle about half the rosemary over the onions. Layer the zucchini, eggplant, onion, and tomato by alternating in a repeating pattern. You can layer them on their side or have them upright like in my photo. (I cut my slices in half to create half-moons to accommodate my shallow pan.) Fill the whole pan. Wedge the garlic cloves into the veggies. Sprinkle the remaining rosemary, salt and pepper to taste. Cover with parchment paper and bake for 3 hours. Pull out of the over, let cool for 10 minutes and eat!
I served my ratatouille over white rice and garnished with fresh rosemary and garlic chives. EAT!