Main dishes
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Baked Ratatouille with Cheese

A

Come on, admit it. Ever since you watched Pixar’s movie you’ve been dying to eat Remy’s ratatouille! Well, here is the recipe for it!

Since I am not French and certainly did not grow up with this vegetable dish, I cannot say anything so personal about it, I do not have any memory of this dish. It is not the most unusual taste. But it is so humble in taste, and there is such a balanced combination of all the familiar tastes from my own childhood, my past, as well as my present, that I remember my mother’s kitchen from some 20, 30 years back…

B
And an added bonus: it is easy! It just takes time to chop all the vegetables maybe, but you can have a friend and chop together! I believe this is one of those dishes that would be great to cook with a friend and enjoy a nice chat in the meantime.

C
Today is Wednesday — my free day — and I enjoyed a lovely lunch remembering and missing my mother. I am now enjoying a well brewed tea and writing my blog post. And I am thinking, once again as Gusteau in the movie also believed, that “anyone can cook”. I know you can. Enjoy!

D

Ingredients:

(my tray is 20x30cm)
5 tbsp / 75 ml olive oil, plus more to drizzle on the tray later
1 big onion
5 garlic cloves
Ground chili pepper, black pepper and salt to taste
2 tbsp / 30 ml tomato paste
1 yellow zucchini
1 eggplant
1 green zucchini
3 tomatoes

Gruyere cheese (or another cheese of your choice)
Fresh basil leaves

r

1. Preheat the oven to 200C.

2. Chop onion and garlic cloves.

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3. Put 3 tbsp / 45 ml olive oil to a pan and heat it. Put onions in the pan and sauté for about 2-3 minutes, until they start to soften.

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4. Add half of the chopped garlic, chili and black pepper and salt. Cook, occasionally stirring, until onion cook quite well (but do not let them turn brown!).

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5. Add tomato paste and stir until all onion mixture is covered with the paste. When it cooks altogether, take it away from heat and put aside.

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6. Chop all green and yellow zucchini, eggplant and tomato with a thickness of maximum 2 mm.

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7. Cover the bottom of your tray with some olive oil (or you can use baking sheet). Put tomato paste & onion mixture in and spread on all the surface. Drizzle about 1 tbsp / 15 ml olive oil.

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8. Put sliced vegetables in alternating colours. Add the remaining garlic on top.

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9. Drizzle 1 tbsp / 15 ml olive oil, add salt and black pepper to taste.

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10. Cover with aluminium foil, put in the middle rack of the oven and bake for about 40-50 minutes, until all the vegetables are soft (for me it took 50 minutes).

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11. In the meantime, grate a bit of cheese — as much as you like, I used 150 gr. cheese for example.

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12. When all the vegetables are baked and soft, take the tray out of the oven and turn the oven heat to 180C. Spread grated cheese on top and put it back to the oven, this time to the top rack. Bake until cheese melts and starts to get a bit brown.

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13. When ready, take it away from the oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes. Top with chopped fresh basil leaves (or any other herbs you like) and serve warm.

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13B
(adapted from “recipes magazine” blog)

This entry was posted in: Main dishes

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I'm a designer based in Helsinki, who turned into a food blogger / eating designer / baker and finally found the meaning of life by cooking, baking and eating together.

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