Baked ratatouille is a delicious cheesy vegetable casserole. This recipe features flavorful tomato-bell paprika sauce with vegetable slices on top, topped with melted golden cheese.
for the sauce:
- 2 tablespoons frying oil
- 1 medium onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoons French seasoning Herbes de Provence
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 14 oz/400ml can crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 medium tomatoes
- 1 small/medium zucchini
- 1 small/medium yellow squash
- 1 small eggplant
- 3 medium potatoes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 150 g Gruyere cheese or other melting cheese
Make the sauce:
Chop the onion and bell paprika, cut the garlic very finely.
Heat the oil in a big frying pan over medium heat, add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes until soft and translucent.
Add the garlic and herbs, cook for 1 more minute.
Add the bell pepper, cook, stirring from time to time, for about 3 minutes, until softened.
Add the crushed tomatoes, stir and cook the sauce for about 10-15 minutes over low/medium heat. Add the balsamic vinegar.
Puree the sauce with a blender, season with salt and pepper to taste.
Assemble the casserole:
While the sauce is cooking, prepare the vegetables: Peel the potatoes and tomatoes. Cut the zucchini, squash, tomatoes, and eggplant into thin, about 1/4 inch (5mm) slices, cut the potatoes a little thinner (you can use a sharp knife or a mandoline).
Preheat the oven to 425°F / 220°C / Gas Mark 7.
Spoon the sauce into the baking dish, even out its surface. Note: if you're using rectangular 9×13 inch (23cmx33cm) casserole dish use the whole amount of the sauce, if you're using an oval 9×13 inch (23cmx33cm) casserole dish, add a little less sauce – about 1/2-2/3 cup less sauce (you can use it for another recipe or bake it with the leftover vegetables that won't fit in your baking dish).
Arrange the vegetables in the baking dish in an alternating layered pattern from the outer edge to the inside until the entire baking dish is filled.
Sprinkle salt, pepper, and some more Herbes de Provence over the vegetables. Pour a small amount of olive oil over them.
Bake for 45 minutes (uncovered) until the sauce is bubbly and the vegetables are browned (if the vegetables are not browned you can turn on the fan or move the baking dish under the most upper rack / under the broiler and bake briefly until the edges of the vegetables are browned).
Sprinkle grated cheese over the vegetables and bake under the broiler (or turn on the fan) for about 5-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and slightly golden.
Take the casserole out of the oven and leave to rest for about 15 minutes.
Serve and enjoy!
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