I HAD THE GENIUS IDEA TO MAKE RATATOUILLE…. I was going to find the best recipe I could… add my own personal touch and we were going to show that little mouse what we were made of! I mean, the movie made it look sooooo good, who wouldn’t want to eat it right? HA! I laugh in the face of calling it a poor mans food… granted, I could pull almost everything from my garden and fed my whole family for under $12 which isn’t easy to do when there is 8 of us… but seriously… how could it not be good?!? The one thing I didn’t get on film, was the face my children actually made when I presented them with my “WONDERFUL, TASTY, R.A.T.A.T.O.U.I.L.L.E
” Someone forgot to give them the memo that mom was super proud of this dish, because she could totally eat it without guilt… and well, a mouse cooked it right?
The first complaints were why didn’t it look like ravioli… well because it’s not….and how come the movie made it seem like pasta… BECAUSE IT’S A CARTOON MADE BY ADULTS TO TRICK KIDS INTO THINKING THEY WANT TO EAT RATATOUILLE….ok, now breathe… see, cause in my house, we always offer 2 things on the menu…
“take it” or “leave it”
So, here we are eating what I consider to be a quite fabulous meal, as moms often do… my daughter and oldest son truly enjoyed it… my littles… ate the broth over their brown rice and the middle boys… chewed down every last bite… because that is the rule. Overall consensus, if I made it over pasta… it would have been a hands down winner.. but eating just the veggie stew was a little “hard to swallow” (pun intended)
All this to say, if you are an adult who wants a great Ratatouille recipe… you have hit jackpot. If you want to torture your meat eaters… you’ve also hit jackpot, and if you are vegan ….. then you just scored a home run… because this is my crock pot version!
First, here’s a list of what you’ll need:
2 large eggplants, peeled and cut into 1/2″ (about 10.5 cups)
2 med Zucchini or summer squash cut into 1/2″ (about 6.5 cups)
3 TBS coarse salt
2 small red onions
1 Red Bell Peppers
8 minced garlic cloves
2 14oz cans diced tomatoes
1 Tbs fresh thyme (1tsp dried)
2TBS olive oil
First you want to peel and dice your eggplants, and your zucchini or squash, I like to leave the skin on these…
Next you will want to put all of this in a colander inside a bowl and put about 3TBS of salt (I always use pink Himalayan) and toss these veggies, put them aside and let them sit… this will take the bitterness out of the eggplant and remove the excess liquid from these vegetables so that you don’t end up with watery ratatouille! As a side note, don’t forget to toss the veg every 10 minutes or so just to really let those liquids out. This is not a huge deal if you set and forget it!
While you have this sitting, Get out a heavy pan and saute the onions, peppers and garlic in olive oil with a touch of salt until caramelized.
Take your salted veggies, and press them into the strainer.. now, I don’t mean mush them, just with the palm of your hand press enough to get any excess liquid off…then you’ll pour this in the bottom of your crock, and add the sauteed vegs on top.
Next,add both cans of diced tomatoes with their juices and the seasonings.
Mix and cover and cook on low 4-5 hours. (be careful cooking on high that it doesn’t burn)
I served it over brown rice but this would be good with a creamy polenta or as my children suggested pasta!
I sure hope you try this and let me know how it comes out!