Ratatouille is one of my favorite ways to utilize summer vegetables that will be popping up at farmers markets soon enough (“soon” = 2+ months. I’m clearly getting ahead of myself). While I love the classic, dump and stir ratatouille where you plop summer squash, eggplant, bell peppers, and tomatoes into a pot with a generous serving of olive oil and fresh herbs, these ratatouille “stacks” are arguably easier and look a lot less like vomit. Love me some ratatouille, but if I tried to take photos of a classic ratatouille, this blog would look eerily similar to Martha Stewarts Instagram circa 2013 (catch up on your food pop-culture here).
This recipe was especially simple for me because I always have a jar of home made tomato sauce in the freezer. When I make a new batch of sauce for a pasta dish, shakshuka, etc. I make 2-3x what I need and freeze them in small portions. You will never go back to canned sauce again!! My basic recipe is in my shakshuka post, but I switch it up every time depending on what I have on hand/mood. If you don’t have time to make your own sauce, I would recommend roasting sliced tomatoes with the rest of the vegetables and adding it to the stack.
Also note: I added in beets because I haven’t been eating enough of them lately and the earthiness was an amazing complement to the traditional ratatouille… and also because I have to stay true to my flog name! Bring on the beets!!
I layered in some ricotta cheese to add some protein to this meal. Ricotta is a great mild cheese, but if you like a stronger cheese, then a creamy, spreadable goat cheese would be fantastic. Stack these roasted veggies layered with tomato sauce and cheese on a bed of grains and you have yourself a solid, vegetarian meal.
- 2 Tbs Tomato Paste
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 small beets – (I used one red, one golden)
- 1/2 eggplant
- 1/2 zucchini
- 1 red bell pepper
- Fresh thyme
- Olive oil (lots of it)
- Chili flakes
- 1/4 cup home made tomato sauce (or 1 sliced tomato, see description in text above)
- 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup cooked rice/grains
Preheat over to 375 F. On a large sheet tray, spread tomato paste and ~1/2 c. olive oil with a brush (or your fingers) until the tray is completely coated. Add crushed, whole garlic cloves, sliced vegetables, and 3-5 sprigs of fresh thyme. Season with salt, pepper, and red chili flakes to taste. Bake, flipping veggies over once, for ~30 minutes.
Mix ricotta cheese with ~1/2 tsp chopped, fresh thyme, salt, and pepper to taste.
Layer roasted veggies, tomato sauce, and ricotta on top of your grain of choice.