Ratatouille On Broiled Polenta with Baby Greens

eggplant photo copyright ┬ękarina allrich

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 aubergine bandwagon. To me it was so, I don't know. Retro? Old school? Ho-hum?

But wait.

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. Not pretty. But very yum.

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

For serving:

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).

To serve:

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.

Serves 4.

Susan's Roasted Ratatouille at Fatfree Vegan Kitchen


GFCF Mommy said...

Karina, your ratatouille looks GORGEOUS! Remy and Gusteau would be proud!

I'll also tell the Prince you liked the looks of his recipe. He'll be so excited!


SusanV said...

Hey, thanks for the link! Your ratty looks divine. Just the thought of it served over polenta is making me hungry!

Kalyn said...

I love your idea for using mushrooms and olives in ratatouille. Yum.

Thanks for mentioning my ratatouille. This is definitely a movie that inspired a thousand cooks! I'm keeping my fingers crossed for it to win an Oscar. It was one of my favorite films of the year.

glutenfreeforgood said...

This looks so good! Especially pared with polenta. Yum! I throw those fire roasted tomatoes and green chiles into half the stuff I make. What a good idea to add it to ratatouille.

Aaahhh, and I loved the movie.


bakingbarb said...

I tagged you!
By the way the ratatouille sounds delish!

Sally Parrott Ashbrook said...

My hubby and I just watched the movie this past weekend, and it's really cute. Not necessarily appropriate for kids of all ages, but really cute. The only thing is---having had a rat infestation at work before (in our ceilings), I couldn't get entirely past the nasty-rat factor. Lol. Anyway, I've been thinking I should try out making ratatouille now, so yay for the recipe!

April said...

Could you maybe just move in with me for a while? LOL. I'd love to share my kitchen with you...you could inspire me, or give me a boot in the arse, whatever works! I am just not having any fun cooking for myself these days. This really does sound good to me, and I have the polenta...so maybe if I get hungry enough I'll get motivated. Or maybe I'll just eat the last of the GF brownies and have a glass of wine for dinner....:-O

Karina said...

Heya GFCF Mommy! Hugs to the Prince!

Susan, Thanks for the ratty love.

Hi Kalyn- I put olives in everything I can. Sigh.

GF for Good- Me too. I am digging these organic fire roasted tomatoes with spicy chiles. Bigtime.

Hello BakingBarb- Thanks! I've done that meme twice- so I know you'll understand if I politely decline. Thanks for thinking of me, tho! ;)

Hola Sally- Ugh. I'm with ya on the rat thing. A little creepizoid. I agree.

Heya April! Brownie and wine? I'll be over for dinner. What time?



Dylan said...

Hey Karina,

It has been so long since I have talked to you, (or anyone in that matter). I have been so busy with life and have not posted in a long time, till now!!! I wrote a new post you should check it out. It involves you (sort of)!

I am happy to be back in the swing of blogging again, it feels good to be adding new recipes and stories for readers to come and see. I felt like I disappeared from the face of the earth, but IM BACK!!

I hope your doing ok,
talk to you soon,
your fellow blogger Dylan

Karina said...

Hey Dylan! Great to see you. Glad you stopped by. I love the post about your birthday. And you look cool in your new Team Geek pullover. ;)

Happy Birthday, Dylan!


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