I’ve fallen way off the healthy eating wagon over the past several months. Junk food tastes good. Gaining weight sucks. Trying to lose weight sucks. It takes a crazy amount of willpower to resist gummy dinosaurs, Twizzlers, peach rings, and Pringles while writing. 😜 But this Old World French country vegetable dish known as ratatouille is delicious and full of wholesome nutrients and vitamins. And the leftovers make a great snack!
Ever since I saw the movie Ratatouille about 15 years ago, I’ve wanted to taste the French provincial dish. Its rustic appeal spoke to me. I just never got around to making it. In need of healthier sides for all the delicious smoked meats Zac has been bringing to the table every Sunday, I knew now was the time to give it a try.
I’m assuming this dish is healthier than The Best Potato Casserole or Crock Pot Mac & Cheese, but without putting the measured ingredients in a nutrition calculator, I’ll never know. Surely fresh tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, and squash have to be better for you than mounds of cheese and high-carb pasta and potatoes.
After reading several recipes found on the net, I had a plan. I loosely followed a combination two or three and this is what I came up with. The dish was a huge success! I decided some changes were needed so the recipe is written with those in mind. Don’t beat yourself up trying to find an eggplant the size of your other veggies – until you’re trying to impress guests! 😉
Rustic Ratatouille Made Easy
Created by Melissa Woolard | Culinary Craftiness
- 1 eggplant, cut in half lengthwise and slice 1/4"
- 1 large or 3 small zucchini, sliced 1/4"
- 2 small yellow squash, sliced 1/4"
- 4 tomatoes, sliced 1/4"
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 heaping tsp. jarred minced garlic
- 1 (8 oz.) Italian breadcrumbs
- 1 or 2 cups Italian cheese blend, optional
- salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray your cooking dish(es) with oil.
- Spread diced onions in the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle the entire container of breadcrumbs over the onions.
- Lay out several of each veggies in batches on paper towels to drain excess liquid. Lightly salt and pepper each side. Begin stacking. This dish worked out with one sliced half eggplant, 2 slices squash side by side or slightly overlapping, 1 slice tomato, 2 slices zucchini.
- Sprinkle garlic over all the stacked veggies then sprinkle on cheese.
- Bake in oven 40-50 minutes.
- Sop up any extra liquid on your plate with a nice, crusty bread. Delish!