I decided to make this dish a week or so ago because Eric and I had our friends Josh & Megan over for din din. They’re both vegetarian while Eric and I are paleo – preeeeetty different tastes. Fun fact: I was veg for all of high school and college and only recently started eating meat full time. So, prepping a meal for 4 that wasn’t meat centric was easy peasy. I popped this in the oven when our friends arrived and threw some italian sausage in a pan for Eric and I. Everyone enjoyed it – yay!
I chose to make Ratatouille for two reasons: it’s vegetarian friendly and it’s easy as hell to make. Can’t beat that, right? :)
Here’s the run down: You’ll want to slice a mix of zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant (if you’ve got it on hand) suuuuper thin. I Highly recommend using a slicing blade for your food processor or carefully using a very sharp knife. Each slice should be just a few millimeters thick so that the veggies can cook thoroughly. The dish is pretty straight forward…. If you don’t like garlic, get out. Jk – if you don’t like garlic, simply scale back a bit because this is intentionally very garlicky. If you want more spice, add more spice. If you want more veggies, add eggplant, bell peppers, etc. The beauty in this is that you can’t screw it up.
Hope you enjoy!
slicing blade for food processor OR super sharp knife and a steady hand
1 zucchini, sliced thin
1 small yellow squash, sliced thin
1/4 small red onion, finely chopped
1 cup fresh, rough chopped basil
6 fat cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 can all natural tomato sauce
1 can all natural diced tomatoes
salt & pepper
pinch cayenne pepper
pinch dried oregano (for topping)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Slice and chop all of the veggies according the notes above. In a casserole pan, spread out about 75% of the tomato sauce and sprinkle on top about 1/3 of your basil, onions and garlic. Add spices and then begin layering squash. You can layer them however you want – depending on how much time you wanna spend here. I overlapped about 1/3 of each slice all the way down the pan and then worked my way back the other direction. Keep working down and back until you’ve covered the entire pan with veggies. Now, take a spoon and drizzle a little tomato sauce over everything. Sprinkle about 1/2 your can of diced tomatoes on top. Sprinkle on the next 1/3 of basil, onions and garlic. Add spices and then begin layering squash. See what we’re doing here? We’re basically making a lasagna of vegetables. Layer down the rest of your veggies and then sprinkle over the remainder of your tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Add the rest of your basil, onions and garlic. Crack some salt and pepper, add a dash of oregano and a pinch of cayenne and BOOM – You just made a not-very-French version of ratatouille! Pop in the oven for about 45 mins or until sauce is bubbling and veggies are becoming translucent. Serve with a salad, some sausage, cauliflower rice, whatever – enjoy!