Oven-Baked Ratatouille

ratatouille

If this is considered a peasant dish, I wouldn’t want to be queen.

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Bonnie Published by
  • 4 small yellow summer squash
  • 4 zucchini
  • 2 lbs tomatoes, seeded & roughly chopped
  • 1 large onion, quartered and sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 T. fresh thyme leaves
  • Handful basil, roughly chopped or torn
  • 1/2 to 1 c. olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 t. red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
  • 1 c. shredded gruyere or gouda cheese
  • 8 generous slices sourdough/other crusty bread
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

I used to inhale my mom’s version of this dish after our visits to the Barken Farms stand for fresh local veggies. The Castle family liked it so much that she started to slice and freeze the zucchini and squash so she could make the dish even after the season was over. I’ve started getting crazy varieties of organic squash in my CSA box the last few weeks, and this was the first thing that came to mind. Just like Anton Ego, one bite of this dish takes me back. Now if I could only locate some mahaw jelly, I’d be in business…

The How-To

Preheat oven to 400*. Cut squash and zucchini into approximate 1/2″ slices or chunks and set aside in a bowl. In a large saute pan over med-high heat, drizzle 2-3 T olive oil. When the oil is hot (barely smokes), add in 1/4 of your squash/zucchini (eggplant, peppers, whatever you have), sprinkle with salt and pepper and saute 2-3 minutes until seared on outside but still a bit firm. Deposit in 9 X 11 baking dish. Repeat in batches until all of the squash/zucchini are cooked. If you throw them all in at once, they’ll stew instead of saute, and you get a different texture.

After the last batch of squash/zucchini, drizzle the pan again with 2-3 T olive oil, add the onion and garlic, and saute for about 4 minutes, stirring to prevent garlic from burning (it’ll turn bitter). When onions are soft, stir in tomato pieces, thyme, basil and red pepper flakes. Simmer for 10 minutes or so, until tomatoes give up their juices and form a sauce. You can help it a long a bit by mushing tomatoes with the end of your wooden spoon.

Pour tomato sauce over cooked squash/zucchini in baking dish, mix together and bake for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, drizzle sourdough slices with olive oil, salt & pepper, or sprinkle with your favorite cheese and place slices on top of ratatouille. Turn oven to broil, return bread-topped dish to oven and broil until the bread is toasted and/or cheese is melted. Cool a few minutes before serving. This should feed 8 as a side dish or 4 as hearty, inexpensive, mouthwatering entree.

Variations on a Theme

This works well with any combination of zucchini, squash, eggplant, and red/yellow bell peppers. I’ve been getting Flying Saucer Squash in my CSA box recently, and they’re delicious!

For those of you (mostly boys) who demand meat with dinner, this goes great with any grilled meats, roasted chicken, or, my personal favorite, topped with 2 fried eggs!

No sourdough? Just serve it with some cornbread instead, which makes a fabulous sponge for soaking up tomato juices.

You can also halve the recipe if cooking only for 2, just use a smaller baking dish.

8 Responses to “Oven-Baked Ratatouille”

  • Gay Stricklin:

    Our Liberty connection is showing…if you find mahaw jelly, LET ME KNOW!
    Hope all is well with you two.

  • John:

    I can get you mahaw. There’s a lady at work with connections. I don’t know how often she gets it though.

  • Bonnie:

    Connections, eh? What would you require in return for aforementioned jar of ambrosial delight?

  • John:

    You’d have to cook me dinner one of these days. I have a jar with your name on it though. She just got a batch today and I snagged one before they all disappeared.

  • Roast Chicken « Bonnie Walton:

    [...] can wash your hands when you’re through, and your dishes, and the counter… Oven fries, ratatouille, and/or arugula salad make mouth-watering complements for this classic comfort food. If [...]

  • Erik:

    Yeah, so, I’m going to attempt to make this within the week. Looks delicious!

  • Zachary:

    I still come to this recipe. I love it.
    Thank you Bonnie.

  • Bonnie:

    Glad you enjoy it! Our CSA got squash bugs this summer, so I haven’t seen a zucchini or squash in our box since May. I’ve been wanting to make this, so I may have to break down and buy some veg at HEB. I’ve got to get one of these lobster rolls I keep hearing about–do you ship?