Remember I ended up watching Pixar’s Ratatouille twice in last weekend? I considered watching it a third time but then I was struck with an even better idea–why not make ratatouille?
I’d never made ratatouille before.
I’d never even eaten ratatouille before!
So I compared a few recipes online, took inspiration from the film and went with my intuition for the rest of it. With cooking it isn’t always necessary to follow a recipe to make the dish perfect; you can taste and tweak it as you go along. Cooking is an art; baking is a science, they say.
And may I just say, this one turned out splendidly. I had plenty of food left for several days, so this is a great meal to make if you want to use leftover to make lunch and/or dinner on the go.
You can make this ratatouille two (or even three) different ways: the way Remy makes it, in a shapely little tower, or the traditional way in a pie dish (like Colette wants to make it).
Serves 3 as a starter, 2 as a main course (or one if you’re really hungry)
1 small aubergine
1 medium tomato, or 4 cherry tomatoes
1 red bell pepper
1 knob of butter
vegan gravy to serve (I used store bought dry gravy; just add water)
salt and pepper, basil and thyme to serve
You can make this dish two ways:
1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC. Grease a smallish baking tin (I used an oval shaped one). Cut up your vegetables in round slices, not too thin or too thick according to your preferences. The red bell pepper will turn out to look more like a flower shape, and that’s fine; in fact that’ll pretty up your dish. Place all the slices in any order you like in your baking tin. Brush a bit of ‘butter’ on top if you like, or spray some cooking oil so the veggies don’t burn, and pop the tin in the oven for 30 minutes at least. Serve with a few tablespoons of vegan gravy and some herbs and enjoy.
2. Cut up your veggies as described above. Heat a large pan on the stove. Grease it with the vegan margarine and start cooking the aubergine slices first. Add the courgette, the bell pepper and finally the tomato. Serve this in a twisting little tower, as in the film. Drizzle over some gravy, add some thyme and basil, and voilà!
If you still have some leftovers, why not turn them into a pie? For maximum convenience and time-saving get some ready-made pastry dough from the supermarket, spread it out on a baking tray, add your veg and bake. I have not tried this (I ate everything… can you blame me?) but I definitely will soon!