Thursday, August 20, 2015

Late Summer Saucy Ratatouille



One of my favorite things about summertime is the food.  Particularly the vegetables.  My fridge is constantly filled with tomatoes, summer squash, zucchini and bell peppers.  I just love how fresh dinner is with a bowlful of vegetables.  I have dozens of veggie combinations that I love in the summer, but one of my favorites is ratatouille.  

After the Pixar movie came out, I wanted to try my hand at it, and made a gorgeous dish of it in college.  Several years later, I went back to find the recipe, but couldn't locate it, so I had to put together one of my own.  This version of ratatouille has a silky smooth vegetable sauce with juicy squash, slightly crunchy onions and is full of flavor.  



Ingredients

Carrot and Bell Pepper Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil 
  • 1/2 Red Bell Pepper, diced*
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, in wheels*
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced*
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth*
  • 1/2 tsp basil*
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary*
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
Ratatouille
  • 1 zucchini, sliced into wheels*
  • 1 summer squash, sliced into wheels*
  • 1/2 carrot, sliced into wheels*
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan* (do not use Parmesan if Whole 30 or paleo)
  • 1/4 cup onion, sliced into wheels and quartered
*Creative Green Living recommends purchasing these ingredients as organic where available to avoid GMOs, pervasive pesticides and/or questionable farming practices.

Serves 2

(check out all that Vitamin A!)
Nutrition information is approximate and may vary based on the freshness and brand of your ingredients. Nutrition information calculated at: Calorie Count.


Directions for Sauce
1. Put the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  
2. Add onion, carrot and sweet potato and cook for about 5 minutes until the onions begin to soften.  
3. Add the bell pepper, broth and spices and let simmer for about 10 minutes, until the sweet potato 
    is very soft.  
4. Remove from heat, take out the bay leaf. Use an immersion blender or carefully pour the sauce into a blender with a glass jar and blend until smooth.


Directions for Ratatouille 
(Note: The carrots and onions will be a little crunchy, which adds a nice texture to your ratatouille.  If you don't like crunchy onions and carrots, you can put them in a frying pan with a little olive oil for a few minutes, stirring them occasionally, until they begin to soften, then begin the next step)

1.  Once your sauce is finished, pour 1/3 of it into an 8x8 casserole dish.  
2.  Lay the zucchini, carrot wheels, onion pieces and summer squash in the dish on top of the sauce, 
     slightly overlapping each piece.   
3.  Pour about 1/3 of the sauce over this layer.  
4.  Put another vegetable layer on top of the sauce, and sprinkle with Parmesan.  
5.  Pour all but about 2 Tbsp of sauce over this vegetable layer, and then top with Parmesan.  
6.  Finish by layering the remaining zucchini and summer squash on top of the Parmesan topped    
     sauce.  
7.  Drizzle the top with the remaining sauce. 
8.  Cook in an oven preheated to 350°F uncovered for about 25 minutes.   




       






About the Author: 

Landen runs Measure and Whisk, a cooking blog with a focus on real food. She is a firm believer that quality is superior to quantity, and prefers small amounts of good food over large quantities of cheap food. Deeply disappointed in cheap bacon, she prefers to buy $6 bacon less frequently. Because of this, she typically cooks vegetarian meals for her family.    

Her blog also features photos of her baby, Fox, and suggestions on how to live an eco-friendly and minimalist life, both in and out of the kitchen. Follow her on Pinterest and Instagram for beautiful food photos and pictures of baby Fox.

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