Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ratatouille Sub

Y'all, I owe you a massive apology for being absent on Monday.  I was down in Atlanta, scoping out our new digs and peppering my conversations with southern-isms like 'Y'all,' 'Aren't you sweet?,' and 'Waffle House.'  Yes, I did help myself to a pecan waffle at the fancy breakfast/lunch/late-night establishment, and yes, I did find myself liking monograms an awful lot while browsing through some shops in downtown Roswell.  I think I'll be happy down there, especially once my southern accent comes back into play.
But that's beside the point.  I missed my recipe Monday!  And I have such a wonderful recipe to share with you!  The prep work for this dish is a bit exhaustive unless you have a mandoline slicer (which I don't), but don't let that stop you from cooking this for a decadent sandwich. 
In the original recipe, this calls for eggplant, peppers, squash and zucchini.  Well, it's definitely winter up here in DC, so we only have eggplant and peppers.  It's still delish!  We made the subs one night with a butterflied, grilled sausage on each, and I tossed it with some couscous for lunch the next day.  So easy, healthy, and colorful, my favorite type of meal.

Ratatouille Sub (from Smitten Kitchen)
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
1 c. tomato puree (we took a jar of skinned plum tomatoes and just pureed it in the container)
2 Tbps. olive oil, divided
1 eggplant
3 or 4 bell peppers of whatever color suits your fancy
Few sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
Few Tbsp. soft goat cheese, for serving
Couple of tsp. balsamic vinegar, for serving
1 baguette, sliced and grilled for serving

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Pour tomato puree into bottom of an oval baking dish (or a rimmed baking sheet), approximately 10 inches across the long way. Drop the sliced garlic cloves into the sauce, stir in one tablespoon of the olive oil and season the sauce generously with salt and pepper.
3. Trim the ends off the eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash. As carefully as you can, trim the ends off the bell peppers and remove the core, leaving the edges intact, like a tube.
4. On a mandoline, adjustable-blade slicer or with a very sharp knife, cut the eggplant and bell peppers into very thin slices, approximately 1/16-inch thick.
5. Atop the tomato sauce, arrange slices of prepared vegetables (including the onions!) concentrically from the outer edge to the inside of the baking dish, overlapping so just a smidgen of each flat surface is visible, alternating vegetables. You may have a handful leftover that do not fit.
6. Drizzle the remaining tablespoon olive oil over the vegetables and season them generously with salt and pepper. Remove the leaves from the thyme sprigs with your fingertips, running them down the stem. Sprinkle the fresh thyme over the dish.
7. Cover dish with a piece of aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes at 375.
8. Remove foil, raise heat to 425, and bake for another 10-15 minutes, until the veggies have a little color on top. 
9. Remove from oven and let cool for a minute or two.  Place on top of halved bread, top with goat cheese, a bit of balsamic vinegar if desired, and some sausage if you're feeling fancy. 


  1. Ratatouille sub, southern accent, living in DC (but not for long)!! You are definitely a citizen of the world.

  2. P.S. I'm just finishing a book you might like. The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin. It's a novel based on the life of Anne Morrow Lindergh and really interesting. What a strange duck HE was!!! XXXXX -- GG'ma

    1. I'll have to add it to my list of books to read- I love historical novels like that. Thanks, Grandma!