Ratatouille a la Disney

Right across the street from my school, there’s a little farm called Valley End Farm that has a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. You sign up for a membership and depending on how much you want, you can pick up a box (or have it delivered!) weekly or bi-weekly. Each box has freshly grown organic vegetables that are picked right from the farm that week.

Last week, I finally decided to give it a try. I drove out on the little dirt road all the way up to the small barn where the guy who runs the farm welcomed me. After I got my box, I went home and eagerly looked inside. One of the reasons I wanted to try this was so that I could try things that I wouldn’t normally buy in the store. Lo and behold, inside my little brown box was a variety of produce, some of which I had never seen before and some of which was familiar. Here’s a picture of what was included:

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I started looking up recipes to make with these late summer goodies and the first thing that popped up had my eyes grow wide with excitement: ratatouille!

I’d never tried ratatouille before, but it just so happens that one of my favorite Disney movies (and I don’t like a lot of Disney movies) is Ratatouille. Something about that smart little mouse showing us that love is perhaps the most important element in cooking makes my heart grow a little softer.

So when I saw the recipe for Disney’s Ratatouille and realized I had the perfect ingredients for it, you can imagine how thrilled I was. All I needed was little Remi in my chef’s hat to guide me along. …And a chef’s hat.

Here’s what you’ll need:

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For this recipe, it’s important that you try to find tomatoes, zucchini, squash and eggplant that are all roughly the same diameter, as I did not demonstrate (I didn’t have much choice!). This will ensure that they all cook at the same rate and makes for a much prettier final product (although mine turned out looking quite appetizing so it’s not THAT important.)

The first step is to spread the tomato paste in your dish.

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Then sprinkle the onions and garlic on top. No need to be even; you’re going to mix it all up.

Next, add the water, olive oil, and salt and pepper and stir until combined.

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Slice your zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant and squash into thin, even slices. Arrange them in the dish in an alternating sequence, starting from the outer edges and spiraling inwards. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper on top.

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[Optional] Add goat cheese or parmesan on top. I used goat and it was bomb.

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*Some recipes say to cut a piece of parchment paper that fits the top and lay it on before putting it in the oven, but I didn’t and it was fine.

Put in the oven at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes.

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Serve up and enjoy!

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Ingredients

  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 small eggplant
  • 1 or 2 medium zucchinis
  • 1 yellow squash, peeled
  • 2 or 3 medium tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • (Optional) Goat, parmesan, or other cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Spread tomato paste into the bottom of a 10×10-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with onion and garlic and stir in 1 tablespoon olive oil and water until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and black pepper.
  3. Arrange alternating slices of eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, and tomato starting at the outer edge of the dish and spiraling towards the center. Overlap the slices a little to display the colors. Drizzle the vegetables with 3 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and black pepper (and cheese, if preferred). Cover vegetables with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit inside (optional).
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until vegetables are roasted and tender, about 45 minutes.

Inspiration/Source

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