My ratatouille recipe is more postmodern than traditional. But that's why you come here, right? Back in the day when your intrepid GFG was way more geek than goddess (read more high school nostalgia here) ratatouille was one of those popular vegetarian recipes every fledgling Molly Katzen inspired veg-head was stirring up. It was ubiquitous. So when the craze for it hit blogs last year (due to a certain animated movie) I was unmoved to jump on the ratty bandwagon. To me it was so, I don't know. Retro? Old school? Ho-hum?
Retro can be fun. And what do I have against eggplant? Um. Nothing. Flash forward to New Mexico, February 2008. Ratatouille simmers in a thick iron skillet. Tasty goodness ensues.
And by the way- the aforementioned film? It's nominated for five Oscars. Stay tuned tonight.
Ratatouille Recipe On Broiled Polenta with Baby Greens
I'll be honest here. My ratatouille changes. (Shocking, I know!) It's never the same recipe twice. This latest incarnation features sliced Baby Bellas instead of zucchini. And olives instead of additional peppers. I served it on a bed of broiled polenta and baby greens drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. If you'd like to make more of a traditional ratatouille with squash, see my links below.
Leftover ratatouille can be chilled, then served at room temperature the next day, or reheated. It also makes a snappy appetizer. Process it a bit to make it into a spread. Serve it on triangles of grilled bread (gluten-free, of course).
For my version you'll need:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large sweet onion, chopped (or two mediums)
4 Japanese eggplants, cut into cubes (or 2 globe eggplants)
2 heaping cups Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
1 large bell pepper, any color, cored, seeded, chopped
1 14-oz can fire roasted tomatoes (I chose Muir Glen with green chiles for extra heat)
1/2 cup light broth
1/2 cup green or black olives, sliced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2-3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1-2 teaspoons dried basil
1-2 teaspoons dried Italian Herbs (marjoram, thyme, oregano, rosemary)
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Cooked polenta (make your own polenta- see below; or use a pre-made roll of your favorite organic polenta)
A bag of crisp baby greens
Extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Optional garnish: crumbles of goat cheese
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large oven-proof skillet heat the olive oil over medium high heat and add the garlic and onion; stir and cook for five minutes. Add the eggplant, mushrooms and pepper; stir and cook for five minutes. Add the tomatoes, broth, olives, balsamic vinegar, parsley, herbs, sea salt and ground pepper. Stir to combine. Bring to a high simmer.
Set the skillet in the oven and roast the veggies for about 30 minutes, until the veggies are very tender. Stir half way through.
In the meantime, prepare your polenta.
Note: If using a roll of polenta, slice the roll into 1/2 inch slices and place in a broiler pan. Brush with olive oil and season with sea salt and ground pepper. Place the pan into the oven and set the temperature to broil; broil until sizzling and slightly browned.
To make the polenta:
1 cup Bob's Red Mill Polenta
4 1/2 cups light broth
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
You can also add chopped fresh herbs or grated cheese or non-dairy cheese, such as Daiya Italian style, f desired.
In a large heavy-bottomed pot, bring the broth to a high simmer and pour the cornmeal into the simmering broth in an even, steady stream, whisking as you go. Keep stirring. When the polenta has thickened and is pulling away from the sides of the pot a bit, add in herbs or shredded cheese and season with sea salt and pepper, to taste. This takes about 20 minutes, or so. Remove the pot from the heat.
If you make your polenta ahead of time, you have the option of spooning it evenly into a pie plate or cake pan and letting it cool. This makes a firm polenta you can later slice into wedges and broil (see instructions above for preparing the rolled polenta).
Arrange baby greens on four plates. Drizzle with good olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Add polenta in the center. Top with the ratatouille.
For those doing cheese, scatter crumbles of goat cheese on top. I didn't add cheese, of course, and to be (again) honest, I didn't miss it one bit.
Susan's Roasted Ratatouille at Fatfree Vegan Kitchen
More groovy ratatouille goodness: