Roasted Vegetable Ratatouille – [225] – 225 Baton Rouge


Ratatouille is one of my favorite dishes to make year-round, but it is especially delicious in the summer when the eggplant, squash and zucchini are at their peak. This classic French provincial dish is bursting with summer flavors from the tomatoes, zucchini, squash, eggplant and onions. I like to roast the vegetables until they become golden around the edges and are just tender but still holding their shape. I then fold them into a quick homemade red sauce showcasing fresh Creole tomatoes. The result is a delicious, lighter version of the traditional recipes. Roasting the vegetables helps bring out their respective flavors. The fresh tomato sauce is light and bright and helps marry all the flavors. This is a wonderful side dish to complement any grilled meat or seafood, and can be served warm or at room temperature.

Servings: 6
4 large ripe Creole tomatoes
1/3 cup olive oil*
¼ teaspoon crushed red peppers
3 cloves minced garlic
¾ teaspoon kosher salt*
2 medium eggplants 
½ teaspoon dried herbes de Provence, divided 
2 large zucchini
2 large yellow squash
1 small red onion
*Used more than once
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Use a serrated knife to cut a small slit across the bottom of the tomatoes. This will help release the tomato skin, making it easier to peel. 
2. Once the water is boiling, carefully drop in the tomatoes. Blanch for 30 to 40 seconds, or just until the skin begins to peel from the flesh.
3. Drain the tomatoes and cool under cold running water. Carefully peel the skin from the tomatoes. 
4. On a cutting board, slice the tomatoes in half. Use a small spoon to scoop and discard the seeds. Chop the tomatoes and set them aside.
5. Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add in the crushed red pepper flakes and minced garlic. Sauté for 10 to 15 seconds, or just until the garlic becomes fragrant.
6. Add the fresh chopped tomatoes and ¼ teaspoon of the kosher salt. Allow the sauce to come to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. (This sauce can also be tossed into your favorite pasta).
7. While the sauce simmers, heat the oven to 400 degrees and line two baking sheets with nonstick foil.
8. Cut the eggplant into chunks. In a mixing bowl, toss the eggplant with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, ¼ teaspoon of the kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon of herbes de Provence. Place the eggplant in a single layer onto one of the lined baking sheets.
9. Cut the zucchini, squash and red onion into chunks. Place in the mixing bowl. Toss them with the remaining olive oil, salt and herbes de Provence. Place them in a single layer on the second baking sheet. 
10. Roast the vegetables in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they are tender and golden but still holding their shape. Remove from oven and fold the veggies into the warm fresh tomato sauce. Serve.
This article was originally published in the July 2022 issue of 225 magazine.