When most people hear “ratatouille” they think of a stew-like dish with lots of big chunks of veggies. The guests think “yum”. The cook (you) thinks “that’s a lot of chopping” but not so with a layered ratatouille. This recipe is a time-saver. Pour some of your favorite marinara on the bottom of a baking dish, cut thick slices of tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, and eggplants, add some kina savoy or other cooking green, pour the rest of the marinara over the layered veggies and into the oven it goes. It’s that easy.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4 as a main course or more as a side
- 1 bunch of kina savoy, leaves separated from stalks.
- The stalks are not ideal for this dish but are very edible and delicious; kind of like celery with a little bite.
- Wash the stalks, cut them into 1 inch pieces, wrap in a paper towel, place in a plastic storage container or bag, and store in the fridge to use in soup or stew.
- 2-3 medium sized eggplants, sliced into 1/2 inch wide rings.
- 2 bell peppers, sliced into 1/2 inch wide rings, seeds and internal white membranes removed.
- 2 red tomatoes, sliced into 1/2 inch wide rings.
- 2 yellow tomatoes, sliced into 1/2 inch wide rings.
- 1-2 large onions (yellow, red, or white), peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch wide rings, keep the rings intact, do not separate.
- 3 cups of your favorite marinara.
- Kosher salt to season the veggies
- Black pepper to season the veggies
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (to drizzle on top of the finished ratatouille)
- Fresh basil leaves (garnish)
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Set one oven rack onto the second from the bottom level, and another on the middle level.
- Place a baking tray on the rack set on the second from the bottom level. This is to catch any overflow from the baking dish should there be any while it is cooking.
- Cut the leaves of the kina savoy from the stalks (see above photo), wash the leaves really well as they may be sandy, spin-dry, cut into large 5 inch by 5 inch pieces; set aside.
- Wash the eggplants, bell peppers, and tomatoes, slice into 1/2 inch thick rounds; set aside.
- Peel and slice the onion into 1/2 inch thick rounds; set aside.
- Using a 9 inch by 11 inch baking or casserole dish pour half of the marinara onto the bottom of the dish, spreading it out evenly.
- Season one side of each eggplant, onion, red and yellow tomato slices with a pinch of salt and a turn of the pepper mill.
- Place a kina savoy leaf at one corner of the dish to start the layering.
- Follow it with a slice of bell pepper, eggplant, onion, red then yellow tomato; repeat until you baking dish is fully covered.
- Note: The order is not important but what is important is that you try and repeat the pattern consistently as you fill the dish with the layers of veggies. This way you have divided your dish into sections that have one of each of the veggies and can be served as an individual portion.
- Pour the rest of the marinara over the layered veggies, cover with aluminum foil, place on the second from the bottom rack in an oven preheated to 375F.
- Be careful not ot overfill your baking dish with the marinara.
- Cook for 45 minutes, remove the foil after 30 minutes of cooking, and cook uncovered for the last 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack.
- Garnish with fresh basil leaves and if you can find them, basil flowers.
- Your layered ratatouille with kina savoy is ready!