Ever since I saw the movie Ratatouille, I wanted to make ratatouille, haha. That movie is just so cute, and really captures the essence of why I love food. I often think that my obsession of flavor parallels Remy’s very well. Ratatouille is a French peasant style casserole-type dish typically made of aubergine (eggplant), bell pepper, and zucchini w/ a tomato sauce, though there aren’t really hard and fast rules with ratatouille as there are with many other French dishes. Well, eggplant seemed to be oddly lacking from my farmer’s market last week, and so I decided to do my own take using tomato instead of bell pepper for the red color, and zucchini and summer squash as my squashes. Oh and did I mention they were only $.50 each at the farmer’s market?? A terrific price for one of my favorite vegetables! Then I created a tomato and sage risotto to serve the baked veggie dish on. The combination worked out perfectly, and I loved the flavor of the oven roasted squashes. Everything blended together really well, but I didn’t really know what to call this because it’s not really ratatouille, so it’s my ratatouille risotto fusion dish!
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 summer squash, thinly sliced
1 tomato, thinly sliced
2 tbs. EVOO
1 onion, finely chopped
splash of sherry
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tbs. dried basil, dried sage
salt, pepper, EVOO
1. Lay out slices of the zucchini, squash and tomatoes and salt them. Let them sit for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In a small pan, heat EVOO and add onion. Cook til transleucent. Then add in tomato paste, herbs, salt and pepper, and cook for a couple minutes more, making sure everything is mixed well.
3. Spread tomato onion mixture into bottom of a shallow baking pan, and layer vegetables on top. I also added salt, pepper, and some sage.
4. Bake for an hour or so, until the veggies are soft. I just let it bake while I made the risotto. Once i took it out of the oven, I drizzled it with EVOO.
Tomato and Sage Risotto
5 cups of broth (I did a 50/50 mixture of stock and water)
1/4 cup or more (I used the rest of the can leftover) of tomato paste
2 tbs. EVOO
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 cup arborio rice
salt / pepper
A good 1/2 cup or more sherry
more sage (if using dried add it in w/ the sherry, if using fresh wait til the end)
1/4 cup of chopped sundried tomatoes (packed in EVOO)
1. In a medium pot, mix together broth and tomato paste, and turn heat up until it gets to just a simmer. Let it stay just below a simmer while making risotto.
2. In a large pot or deep skillet with large surface area, heat up the EVOO and add garlic and onion and rice. Stirring, let the rice brown a little bit and the onions because a little bit transleucent.
3. Add in your sherry and make sure it all absorbs before you start adding in broth mixture to your rice. If using dried sage, add it in here too.
4. Stir fairly constantly (leaving risotto alone is asking for it to burn on the bottom), add in 3/4 – 1 cup of broth mixture at a time, waiting until it absorbs into the rice before adding in more. Continue doing this until the rice is soft and creamy in texture (this usually takes all 5 cups of broth for me, sometimes a little more)
5. Right at the end, add in your sundried tomatoes. They just give a little sweetness and texture to the risotto. If using fresh age, add in here.
Serve “ratatouille” on a a bed of risotto, and enjoy a dish that was created to celebrate the summer!