October 1, 2014

Ratatouille Tartine

"Ratatouille tartine" sounds fancy. But a tartine is just an open-faced sandwich. And ratatouille is a French dish of cooked vegetables.

Ratatouille usually includes eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, garlic and herbs. If there’s a “right” combination of vegetables and a “right” way to cook it (and given that ratatouille is French, I’m sure there is) then I don’t know what it is. I do know that almost any combination of vegetables piled on top of luscious ricotta cheese and crusty bread is going to be delicious.

I first made this in August. It was a perfect summer dish. Warm veggies on cool ricotta and grilled toasts.

I made it again last week. And now it feels like the perfect fall dish, with eggplants, zucchini, yellow squash and tomatoes all in season.

I'm guessing it's going to be just as good in the winter and spring.

Gather your vegetables. Grab whatever looks good.

Start chopping and sautéing. Cook a couple of vegetables at a time, so they have enough room to get tender and golden. Salt and pepper each vegetable as you cook it. I started with bell pepper and red onion.

As the veggies cook, put them into a large bowl.

Zucchini next.

Then yellow squash.

Finally, the eggplant. I like to do the eggplant by itself, to make sure it's completely tender.

Mix the cooked vegetables until they are well combined. Allow them to cool slightly.

To the mix of vegetables, add minced raw garlic and fresh thyme.

Then add uncooked tomatoes. Mix well and taste for salt and pepper.

In a separate bowl, mix ricotta cheese with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. This gives the ricotta more flavor. (And makes it so delicious you want to eat it straight from the bowl.)

Toast the bread or grill until it's light brown. Top with ricotta cheese and veggies. Enjoy!


Ratatouille Tartine

Recipe from The Garlic Press

olive oil
1 red bell pepper
1 red onion
1 zucchini
1 yellow squash
1 eggplant
1 tomato
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 pint whole milk ricotta cheese
baguette or other crusty bread

1.    Chop the vegetables, all the same size. (A small dice gives you a nice combination of flavors in each bite.) You can chop all the vegetables at once, or chop as you cook.

2.    Put olive oil in a saute pan. Add one or two vegetables, then a little salt and pepper. Don't crowd the pan or the veggies will steam. Once each vegetable is golden brown and tender, add it to a large bowl.

3.    Continue until the bell pepper, red onion, zucchini, yellow squash and eggplant are cooked. Mix the vegetables together and allow them to cool slightly. Add the chopped raw tomatoes, minced raw garlic and fresh thyme leaves. Add salt and pepper if needed.

4.    In a separate bowl, mix ricotta cheese with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.

5.    Toast the bread or grill until light brown. Top with ricotta cheese and vegetables.

Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer or 4 for dinner.