Well, I can’t believe it. It is half way through August and our garden is bursting with a harvest of zucchini, tomatoes, potatoes & a number of other delicious vegetables and herbs. The cabbages aren’t quite ready thank goodness as we have quite the harvest to do something with. I enjoy thinking up creative ways to use our abundant harvest and last weekend I tried a new twist on an old French recipe for Ratatouille. Usually I’ve made Ratatouille in a large fry pan but this time I wanted to try an oven baked ratatouille.
What makes this Oven Baked Ratatouille so easy to put together is that it has a base of a simple sauce that is bursting with flavour. Once you slice the vegetables on top and bake it, all the flavours combine, while your vegetables are baked to perfection.
I have now problem with dairy so I sprinkled parmesan cheese over the top before I baked it but you could certainly leave the cheese off and it would still be delicious!
This recipe for Oven Baked Ratatouille made 8 generous servings. The first night we were entertaining friends so I served this hot to go with some Baked Asparagus Chicken (recipe coming soon). It’s also perfect as a vegan main dish for lunch or dinner.
Next day I served the leftovers warmed over a low glycemic pasta for a second meal. Well, I still had leftovers in the fridge and on the third day enjoyed it cold, fright from the fridge over the “pasta”. I have to say that cold, this oven baked ratatouille was my favourite way to eat it. By day 3 all the ingredients and herb flavours come alive!
Easy Oven Baked Ratatouille
For the Sauce Layer
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ each yellow & orange pepper, chopped
- 1 Spanish (or white) onion, chopped
- 1 can of Italian spiced crushed tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- Himalayan Sea Salt & Course Black Pepper to taste
For the Vegetable Layer
- 2 medium sized zucchini
- 1 large yellow squash
- 1 Chinese eggplant
- 4 medium size potatoes (cleaned & scrubbed)
- 4 tomatoes (Roma work best as they are firmer)
For the Topping
- Few sprigs of Fresh Basil (chopped)
- 3-4 tablespoons parmesan cheese (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Prepare the sauce then slice the vegetables while the sauce is cooking.
For the Sauce
In a medium or deep skillet, combine olive oil, chopped onions, diced peppers and minced garlic and sauté until just browned. Once browned add the crushed tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper. Simmer on low for about 10 minutes. Let this sit until you have the vegetables sliced. Once your vegetables are prepared, pour this sauce into an 8 by 12 ceramic or glass baking dish.
For the Vegetables & Topping
While the sauce is cooking slice the vegetables thinly with a sharp paring knife of mandolin.
In baking dish, arrange alternating slices of vegetables over the tomato sauce mixture. Once done, sprinkle the chopped fresh basil on top then cover with parmesan cheese. (Note: if prefer to not use cheese it will still turn out beautifully or you could use a vegan substitute, if you prefer).
Cover the casserole dish with parchment paper or foil and bake approximately 1 hour. At this point the sauce should be bubbling. Remove the foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly before serving.
Note: To make sure your oven stays clean I recommend putting a baking tray under your casserole dish.
Also, if you would like your potatoes soft verses al dente, I recommend pre cooking them for 30 minutes beofre layering them onto the ratatouille base.
Store leftovers in your fridge for up to 3 days of deliciousness!
If you would like a slightly different version of an oven baked ratatouille check out this recipe.
If you would like to try a skillet method for ratatouille you can find 2 more recipes HERE
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