Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ratatouille: Slow cooker style

Guys! Guys!!! I made Ratatouille!!!!! Seriously - major accomplishment on my part. I now get to cross something off my bucket list.

After seeing Disney's movie "Ratatouille" in which it portrayed a lovable mouse helping a goofy kid live up to his potential, find love and acceptance...yada yada yada.... I  always wondered what this magical dish was all about. Why could some potentially soggy veggies turn a grouchy old man into a lovable hero who defends his arch nemesis? Here is what I found -  Ratatouille is a provincial french dish. As I understand it, it's a type of French comfort food. While the movie portrays this to some extent, I never fully understood why it was a comfort food until last night when I made this for dinner.

While I deviated from the more traditional recipes, what I came up with was delicious. It's one of those cooking magic tricks where the sum of the whole is greater than the individual ingredients. I never would have thought these vegetables plus some pasta sauce would equal anything edible, but I stand corrected.

So, my excitement in making this dish was two fold. One - I crossed off an item on my bucket list. And two - it turned out fantastic!! If you make it, please share your results in the comments, even if you think it's gross! I love feedback :)

1 Sweet potato, peeled
1 yellow summer squash
1 green zucchini
1 Italian Eggplant
1/2 medium onion, diced

~1 teaspoon Herbs de Province
Olive Oil

Tomato sauce (I used pasta sauce from a jar, feel free to use your favorite or make your own)

Wash and slice all veggies (except the onion) into 1/4" rounds. Half the sweet potatoes rounds (yes, you'll have a bunch of half circles). Cover the bottom of your slow cooker with the diced onions, then layer in the veggies, alternating between each one until all are used. You can do a second layer if you'd like!

Cook on low 3-4 hours until veggies are tender. Serve over your favorite pasta sauce and sit down to watch Disney's Ratatouille. 

Layered veggies
Spread the sauce

Add the cooked veggies (I used a slotted spatula, fyi) for a finished product! 

Short Hand: In the slow cooker, layer sliced veggies on top of diced onions. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with herbs de province, salt, and pepper. Cook on low for 3-4 hours until veggies are tender. Serve over pasta sauce.

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