Ratatouille (Gluten and Grain Free)
This is my own take on Ratatouille, the vegetable dish that became popular thanks to an animation movie. If you try to find an authentic recipe for this dish you will find out that everyone has his own idea of what authentic Ratatouille is. That is perfectly fine, because that is the beauty of cooking. You take some old traditional recipe and you make it your own.
That is exactly what I did with that old classic. I made it my own. The major difference in my recipe is that I bake the dish instead of cooking it on the stove. I also roast and peel the pepper that use for the dish. In the original recipe there are onions and slices of whole tomatoes. I didn’t use onions for my version and my fresh tomatoes were turned into a sauce. When I cook tomatoes or bell peppers, I always peel them, because I hate eating the peel of the cooked tomato. My daughter dislikes it too. Therefore, I have few extra steps to my recipe, but they are totally optional. You can blend the tomatoes to a sauce without peeling them and you can add the bell peppers raw.
Why Should You Make it?
This dish has so many tasty vegetables in it. It is a good way to have a nutritious meal that is bursting with flavor. These summer vegetables go so well together. They are rich in vitamins, antioxidants and fiber.
Ratatouille is an excellent vegan and vegetarian dish. It doesn’t contain any animal products. It is also grain and gluten free. This makes it low in carbohydrates. Therefore, it can be eaten from diabetics without causing rapid change in blood glucose.
One of the main reasons I love this recipe is that it made my daughter eat eggplant. In the past she refused to even have a taste. The last time I made this dish she had three servings. She loves this dish so much. I often serve it topped with a fried egg and some crumbled feta. You can also have it with some delicious homemade bread.
- 3 bell peppers
- 1 small eggplant
- 1 large zucchini
- 6 small tomatoes (roma or on the vine)
- 2 medium sized garlic cloves peeled
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 Tbsp salt divided
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil divided
- Start by roasting 3 bell peppers. I preheat an outdoor grill and roast them for about 15 minutes or until charred on all sides. Make sure you turn them every 3-5 minutes so they don't burn. Once they are roasted put them in a pot with a lid for 5-10 minutes. This step is necessary for easier peeling
- Next we are going to peel the tomatoes (optional). Add a pot with water at the stove and bring it to a soft boil. Prepare a bowl with cold water and ice. Make a little cross looking cut to the skin of all six tomatoes and place them in the hot water for 20 seconds. Remove the tomatoes from the hot water and place them in the ice bath. After this procedure their skin will fall off easily.
- Peel the roasted bell peppers and the tomatoes.
- Place the tomatoes, garlic, basil and thyme and about 1 teaspoon of the salt into a blender (food processor or immersion blender works too). Blend until you have a sauce.
- Preheat the oven to 380F.
- Wash and cut the tail ends of the zucchini and the eggplant. Peel the eggplant. Use a mandoline to cut the zucchini and the eggplant to even rounds.
- Place the zucchini and eggplant rounds in a bowl and season them with about 2 teaspoons of salt and two tablespoons olive oil.
- Check your tomato sauce for seasoning and pour it to the bottom of 10 inch baking dish or cast iron pan.
- Arrange the sliced vegetables in alternating patterns. An example for the order is eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper. Then season the dish with the remaining salt and olive oil.
- Cover tightly with aluminum foil.
- Bake for 40 minute with the foil on and 30 more minutes without the foil.