I love being a part of this recipe challenge because it really pushes me to try recipes that I might not normally try. When it was announced that March’s challenge ingredient would be tomatoes, I was kind of thrown for a loop! I couldn’t think of something that seemed like it would be fun or different.
So I thought about it for a couple of days and as I was putting away some of our DVDs I came across our Ratatouille movie. I thought, YES, this is what I’m going to try. Seeing that Ratatouille is one of our family favorite movies, I was a little scared that I might not be able to pull it off and my kids would be disappointed. I’m happy to report that the ratatouille turned out wonderfully, and while the ingredients aren’t what my children would normally eat, they did all try it and the older ones even liked it. I was most surprised by my husband who is not at all adventurous when it comes to veggies, who loved it. He said it tasted like Vegetable Lasagna. Since we are a family that loves our lasagna, I felt that was a big compliment!
I’m really grateful this recipe wasn’t as difficult as I was expecting. It made a wonderful side dish and looks beautiful too! A little tip is to make sure your veggies are nice and firm, it makes slicing them (especially the tomatoes) much easier!
1 sweet onion, sliced thin
2-3 large tomatoes (I used large Romas), sliced thin
1 eggplant, sliced thin
1 zucchini, sliced thin
1 – 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon chives, chopped fine plus more for garnish
2 teaspoons herbs de Provence spice mix
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup Italian cheese blend, shredded
Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine your crushed tomaotes, garlic, chives and spices together. Slice all of your vegetables. You are going to want them approximately the same thickness, mine were a touch less than 1/4 inch thick. I used my mandoline to make them all uniform. In a baking dish of your choice (I used my Pyrex oval baking dish) spoon a healthy layer of your tomato mixture on the bottom. You’ll use about half of the mixture. Next layer your sliced veggies. I alternated them eggplant, zucchini, tomato, then onion. Continue until you’ve filled your dish or used all your veggies.
Cover with tin foil and bake for about 30 mins. Remove the tin foil, sprinkle with the Italian cheese blend, then place back in the oven for another 5-8 minutes until the cheese has melted. The ratatouille should be nice and tender, but not mushy. Heat remaining sauce on low until hot. Place a spoonful of the sauce on the plate and add the ratatouille on top, sprinkle with chives and enjoy!
Now because this is a challenge, you should do yourself a favor and go check out all the other amazing tomato recipes! You won’t be disappointed!
Check out all those delicious recipes and tell me which one is your favorite! Hopefully some of these will take you outside your comfort zone and get you to try something new!