Serves 4-6 as a side dish.
3-4 medium zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick*
2 -3 Japanese eggplant, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil
2-3 tablespoons minced fresh herbs such as oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary, etc.
1 1/2 lbs small tomatoes (not cherry tomatoes), sliced 1/4 inch thick
salt and pepper to taste
parchment paper, cut to fit the casserole pan.
Pre-heat the oven to 425°
Brush the bottom and sides of a 9x13 glass casserole pan lightly with olive oil.
Toss the zucchini and eggplant with the olive oil and fresh herbs. Layer the zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes, alternately, in rows in the prepared casserole pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes. The vegetables should be done, yet toothsome, almost al dente. (This is tricky, because under done eggplant is just not good!) Serve warm or chilled, the following day…ratatouilles' flavors are known to improve after a day or so.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if you like.
*Please note these amounts are estimates. Based on the size and thickness of the vegetables you choose, amounts will vary. Slice the eggplant ever so slightly thinner than the zucchini and tomatoes so they all cook at the same time.
I was inspired – okay, I laughed my head off – at the recent animated movie of the same name. But the attention to authentic detail in the kitchen really grabbed me. One moment in particular caught my eye – when the above named dish was set to go in the oven, a sheet of parchment was placed over the prepared vegetables. I knew this would solve two things—covering the vegetables so they did not dry out while roasting at high heat, yet allowing the steam to escape on the sides. (If they were covered entirely, they would end up steamed and mushy). Onions and bell peppers may be substituted for the eggplant.