I’ve never seen the movie “Ratatouille,” but I’ve gleaned from Pinterest that the movie includes a ratatouille casserole with beautifully stacked cartoon vegetables. Eggplant and squash aren’t my favorites, but they come home in my farm share every September. I decided that this would be a fun way to prepare them, and I actually really enjoyed them this way. My children typically won’t eat eggplant or squash, but my son gave this dish the highest compliment he could muster: “You might be surprised to hear this, Mom, but I actually don’t hate this.” His sister agreed. They didn’t ask for seconds, but they did eat most of the portions they were served.
This dish inspired a helpful dinnertime discussion at our table. We talked about how there are some foods we love, and some foods we can’t stand, but then there are also a good number of foods that fall somewhere in between those extremes. In order to be a healthy eater, you need to embrace variety, and that means regularly eating foods that aren’t your favorites. That’s one of the reasons my eating changed so dramatically when I started getting my farm share a few years ago. I come home every week with vegetables I would never have chosen at the grocery store or farmers’ market, but since they’re in my farm share, I find something to do with them. This adds different colors, textures, and nutrients to our diets, and I’m so happy that my family is exposed to this wide variety of food.
Give this casserole a try even if you’re an eggplant or squash skeptic. You might be surprised.
$.99 per serving
- 1 lb tomatoes
- 1 tbs diced onion
- 1 tsp salt divided
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1/2 lb thin eggplant
- 1/2 lb zucchini
- 1/2 lb yellow squash
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Puree the tomatoes in a food processor (yields 1 1/2 cups of sauce) . Stir in the onion, 1/2 tsp. salt, and maple syrup.
Pour the tomato mixture into a 13x9 inch pan and evenly distribute the sauce across the bottom of the pan. (This idea was adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s recipe.)
Use a food processor or mandoline to thinly slice the eggplant, zucchini, and squash. Place them in a spiral pattern as seen in the photo above. Start on the outside of the pan and work your way to the middle. You may have some extra vegetables that don’t fit in the pan depending on how tightly you arrange them.
Sprinkle the olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and paprika over the vegetables.
Cover the pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Raise the temperature to 425 degrees and remove the cover. Bake for another 5 minutes. Keep an eye on it so the vegetables don’t turn to mush.
Ratatouille Casserole Price Breakdown
This casserole yields four servings and it costs a total of $3.97, or $.99 per serving. Ratatouille Casserole is a tasty way to incorporate a variety of late summer vegetables into your dinner menu.