IMPRESS YOUR GUESTS TONIGHT!

Or, heck…just make it for yourself like I did. I mean, we singles are people, too, right?

Speaking of which, none of my recipes are an exact science. Only you know what you like so this is just a base for you to build upon. You dig?

I chose this version because, although I love Julia Child and Alice Waters (the first lady of farm-to-table essentially), I wanted the pretty version of this dish. Presentation matters to me.

I’m one person so I used an 8-inch skillet. If you’d like, use a 10 or 12 in skillet. Must be oven proof. An 8-inch cast iron is perfect for a couple or a party of one and want leftovers the next day.

Could also turn the leftovers into a sauce. (just puree, jazz it up, and eat yo’self some pasta.)

INGREDIENTS:

14 oz.  Crushed tomatoes  ( I use Muir Glen organic. Or, you can make your own by blending some tomatoes.)
Garlic!!!!!!!!! (I use more than the average person so I put like 5 cloves in. Hey, I wasn’t kissing anyone. Boo!)
Onion (about half)
Bell pepper (I used half orange, half yellow. Your choice. Use any color.)
Zucchini
Yellow Squash
Eggplant
Tomatoes (Roma tomatoes layer well)
Basil and any other fresh herbs you like

METHOD:

The secret’s in the sauce.

Saute onion, garlic, and bell pepper until soft.
(I also added diced jalapeno without the seeds. Depends on your spice tolerance. )
Add crushed tomatoes and basil and stir.
Salt and pepper to taste. Stir together.

That’s your base. Taste your sauce before next step. If the base doesn’t taste good, your dish will look pretty but will be blah. 

THE VEGGIES:

Slice your veggies about 1/4 inch. Too thin, they’ll sink into the sauce. Too thick, they’ll have to cook longer, risking parts of it too mushy. The eggplant tends to be wider than the rest, so can cut in half if you’d like.

Make sure your sauce is flattened so it layers nice.

Place the veggies in a ring.

Keep layering, adding smaller pieces in the center ring.

RING OF HERBS:

Play around with this.

Make a mixture of olive oil, basil, chopped garlic, and any fresh herbs you prefer. I used thyme, rosemary, parsley, and basil. All chopped finely.

Spread herb mixture around the vegetables.

Cover with foil or parchment paper and cook in 350 degree oven for like half an hour. Ovens vary so check it after 20-30 and see how it’s coming along. If it’s bubbly, remove cover and place back in oven for an additional 15 to 20 minutes.

Too long and you’ll end up with a mushy mess. You want your vegetables cooked but still a little firm.

That’s it! That’s my version of ratatouille.

Enjoy!

Susie