Monday, July 25, 2011

Cheesy Baked Ratatouille

Anything having to do with eggplant, I'm in. And, anything involving Italian seasonings is also a must. Add cheese? You got me. I'm helpless. So, when I found this recipe for Aubergine Parmesan, I was intrigued. (Partly, because I was clueless as to what an "aubergine" was. Apparently it's an eggplant.) But, to find tomatoes for less than $1/piece was the problem, not to mention fresh basil and oregano. Answer? Farmer's market for the tomatoes and start an herb garden for the basil and oregano. This recipe is simple, but time consuming, so an easy weeknight favorite it's not. It's also ugly. When my husband saw it he said, "Wow. Their recipe was crap, huh?" Then he tasted it and said, "Oh, I'm so glad this is awesome. I didn't want to have to skirt around it being a bust." ...Thanks? It may not be pretty, but it's that food-gasmic feeling that truly counts.
GATHER
1lb tomatoes (I think I had more, but I wanted leftovers of sauce)
chopped basil, oregano, salt (you can't have too much basil)
2 cloves garlic (or more!)
1 lb whole milk mozzarella, sliced thin
parmesan cheese
medium onion
1 large eggplant 
1 large zucchini
olive oil

WASH
tomatoes throughly while the diced onion and garlic sautees in olive oil

SOLICIT
some help. My daughter's a bang-up tomato washer.
CHOP
tomatoes and all herbs. Add them to translucent onions and garlic.
BOIL
tomatoes, et al, stirring frequently
WASH and SLICE
zucchinis and eggplant

WASH
the pieces, too.

CHECK
it out! Your sauce starts to reduce (and smell pretty awesome). Reduce this by half and then remove from heat.

PAT
zucchinis and eggplant down with a paper towel (just another one of my daughter's talents)

DRY FRY
the zucchini and eggplant (I used my griddle) on both sides

PREHEAT
oven to 350
GREASE
baking dish with olive oil
LAYER
eggplant--parm--mozzarella--sauce--zucchini--mozzarella--parm--sauce--cheese until you are out of ingredients

BUT!
always end up with cheese on top (of course)
IF
you have sauce left, and IF your family doesn't like chunky spaghetti sauce, put it in the blender (but make sure it's not hot, otherwise you'll have red walls)
BAKE
@ 350 for 30-40 minutes
NOTE
It will be a tad watery and be, well, ugly. Yeah, but it tastes good!

7 comments:

  1. It looks amazing and sounds like it was worth all the effort!!!

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  2. It looks delicious! I'm like you...anything with eggplant, tomatoes or cheese! Buzzed this one...and your little helper is a cutie patootie!

    I just LOVE the way you write your recipes!

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  3. This definitely looks like it was worth the effort! Looks delicious!

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  4. A great use for fresh farmer's market veggies. I'm sure that you, your husband, and that cute little sous-chef of yours enjoyed this thoroughly!

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  5. I am doing often ratatouille but never with cheese. Great idea :P

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  6. Wish I could buzz you twice on this one!

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