|Vegan ratatouille served with "cheezy" millet/brown rice mash, and red wine reduction.|
After hearing someone I know name Disney's "Ratatouille" as their favorite Christmas movie (don't know why haha), it gave me the idea to create this warm hearty dish as a Christmas entree for myself and lovely side dish for the rest of the family back home on Guam. This classic French dish is sure to please everyone :) Merry Christmas!!!!
Ratatouille - inspired by the official recipe used for the movie.
- 2 yellow peppers, seeds and ribs removed, sliced in half
- 1 orange pepper, seeds and ribs removed, sliced in half
- 2-3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic, divided
- 1/2 c. finely diced yellow onion
- 3 tomatoes (about 12 oz.), finely diced, juices reserved
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 sprig flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 bay leaf
- 3 zucchini (4 to 5 oz.) sliced in 1/16-in. rounds
- 2 eggplant (4 to 5 oz.), sliced into 1/16-in. rounds
- 1 yellow squash (4 to 5 oz. ), sliced into 1/16-in. rounds (Guam did not sell summer squashes but they had butternut so I substituted that and thought it actually worked out better! Plus, it's more of a wintery feel to the dish. Definitely go for the butternut).
- 3 Roma tomatoes, sliced into 1/16-in. rounds
- 1/8 tsp. dried thyme leaves (I did about 1/2 tsp by accident and it was good!)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the peppers cut side down on a foil-lined sheet. Roast until skin loosens, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest until cool enough to handle. Peel and chop finely.
- Combine 2 tablespoons olive oil (Or 1-2 teaspoons), 1 teaspoon garlic and onion in medium skillet over low heat until very soft but not browned, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes, their juices, fresh thyme, parsley and bay leaf. Simmer over low heat until very soft and very little liquid remains, about 10 minutes. Do not brown.
- Add peppers and simmer to soften them. Season to taste with salt and discard herbs. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the mixture and spread remainder in bottom of an 8-inch skillet.
- Reduce the heat in the oven to 275 degrees.
- Down the center of the skillet arrange a strip of alternating slices of zucchini, eggplant, yellow squash and Roma tomatoes, overlapping so that 1/4 inch of each slice is exposed. Around the center strip, overlap the vegetables in a close spiral that lets slices mound slightly toward center. Repeat until pan is filled. (It's a little confusing, just arrange them artfully with a good amount of overlap, with the center of the pile being mounded up a bit higher)
- Mix 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic, the dried thyme, 2 teaspoons olive oil in bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle over the vegetables.
- Cover pan with foil and seal well. Bake until vegetables are tender, about 2 hours. Uncover and bake for 30 minutes more. (to cut time I baked for 1 hour then turned it up to 300 degrees covered for another 30mins. Final 30mins I uncovered and baked).
- I cooked about 1/2 cup millet and brown rice combined in a rice cooker and to make it into more like a porridge used about 1-2 cups of water. I also used majority millet and just sprinkled in a few brown rice grains.
- After rice cooker finished it into a porridge I boiled it it in a pot and added .5-1 cup water and really boiled it down to thicken it. This is so you still get the benefit of a soft grain but sturdy enough to assemble on your plate.
- While boiling grains sprinkle in some nutritional yeast to give it that cheezy flavor. Plus it gives your dish that protein kick as well. I probably put in about 1/4 cup.
- You can also cook the grains in a pot as well. I use Bob Mill's whole grain millet which will take about 30-45mins to cook without the rice cooker.
Red Wine Reduction
- 1/2 bottle red wine
- 1 garlic clove sliced
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 1/2 apple (use fuji or granny smith) sliced
- Pinch salt
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
- Place all ingredients in a pot. Bring to a boil over stove and immediately reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cook until reduced by 2/3.
- Drizzle on top of dish or on sides.
Be sure to serve the dish warm and assemble as you please. I liked having the grains underneath the ratatouilleI hope you all have a very ratatouille holiday!