Will it skillet? Oh heck yes it will. I love how easy the cast iron pan goes from stove to oven, making this veggie packed, vegan friendly dish super easy and literally one pot. You know it’s an easy recipe because let’s be honest – you know I’m all about easy!
I loved the movie Ratatouille, it’s a super cute movie if you haven’t seen it yet, and although my ratatouille doesn’t look nearly as fancy as Remy and his little buddy’s, I imagine it’s just as delicious and it is equally as colourful.
It’s a classic end of summer (or smack in the middle of winter, you do you) French peasant stew that’s full of zucchini, bell peppers, eggplants, bell peppers and tomatoes cooked in a simple tomatoe sauce. Besides the fact that this dish is super easy and you end up with a gorgeous product – about half way through it’s done cooking – your kitchen is going to smell AMAZING. It’s a great perk.
Now I have made it a few different ways before and they’re all yummy. I made mine in my cast iron pan in an alternating circular pattern, simply for aesthetics, but here’s a few different “twists” that I’ve tried that you might like:
- Cut into chunks instead of slices and cooked in a dutch oven;
- Cooked with Slices of Mozzarella cheese in between;
- Cooked in chunks in the dutch oven with chickpeas for a bit of meatiness!
Whether you cook it in chunks or arrange it in slices in your pan, it’s an easy, delicious veggie packed dish. It works great as a simple, make ahead side dish or works as a main dish with a slice of crusty bread!
I believe it traditionally has yellow squash in it as well – but if like me, you can’t find it, then leave it out – I won’t tell ;).
You also may find it difficult to find an eggplant and tomatoes that are the same size as zucchini squash (eggplant is SO much bigger) so often I cut the larger veggie slices into halves or quarters to try and keep the sizes somewhat consistent. Don’t fret over the bell peppers – they’re oddly shaped – just squeeze em in!
Now the sauce you can make as spicy or mild as you like – add as much garlic as you like – it’s all to taste which is part of what makes this so great! It’s easy to adjust the spices for whatever floats your boat.
You don’t need a cast iron skillet to make this. Like I mentioned, you can totally cut the veggies in chunks and cook it in a dutch oven. Or you can simply arrange the veggies in a casserole or pie plate with the sauce spread on the bottom of the pan. It’s one extra dish to wash, but no big deal when you have delicious veggies stewing in the oven! If you have some veggies laying around your fridge – experiment and add em in!
Why do you need Ratatouille in your life?
- It’s the embodiment of the word simplicity. Seriously, it’s so easy to make!;
- It sounds fancy and is super fun to say;
- Vegan friendly;
- Makes a great-side dish or can be served as a main;
- Seasoning/flavours/veggies are easy to adjust to your taste;
- It’s healthy;
- Make ahead friendly and makes yummy leftovers;
- It’s super pretty and colourful;
- Can be made in a cast iron pan, dutch oven or casserole dish – whichever you have handy!;
- It’s rich, hearty, cozy and absolutely delicious!
I have a feeling Remy and little buddy would be proud!
- 1 small eggplant
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 2-3 small roma tomatoes
- 2-3 small zucchinis
- 15 oz. crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 medium onion, finely minced
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced (to your taste)
- Salt & Pepper (to your taste)
- 1 tbsp. Chili flakes (to your taste)
- 1 tbsp. dried oregano (to your taste)
- 2 tbsp. fresh basil (to your taste)
- 1 tbsp. white sugar (optional)
- Basil, for garnish
Preheat oven to 375 fht.
In a cast 12 inch iron pan (*see note at bottom*), heat up olive oil. Cook onion and garlic until soft. Add in crushed tomatoes, spices, and sugar (optional but helps to take some the acidity of the tomatoe out. You can also use cocao powder). Cook the sauce until it’s bubbly and hot.
Put a quarter of the sauce aside, and spread the rest of sauce over the bottom of the pan.
Slice the veggies into about 1/4 inch thick. If your veggies are all different sizes, try to get them to be roughly around the same size. I had to cut the eggplant slices into quaters to get them around the same size as the zucchinis! I also left the peppers a bit thicker since they cook incredibly quick!
Arrange the slices in a circle around the pan, alternating between the veggies.
When you’ve filled your skillet up, drizzle the remaining sauce that you put aside over the veggies.
Cover with parchment paper or foil and bake for 1 hour. Garnish with basil
*Note – you can cut the veggies in chunks and make in a dutch oven pot. Or you can arrange the veggies and sauce in a casserole or pie pan if you don’t have a cast iron pan*