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With all the great vegetables and herbs coming online in my garden this week I thought I'd create my own ratatouille dish. I did my research and looked at dozens of recipes, including the famed Thomas Keller version from the Disney movie. I added a very non-traditional twist of a Parmesan-breadcrumb mixture that I think balances the softness of the vegetables.
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Time: About 25 minutes active; a little more than one hour total
1 pound zucchini, sliced very thin
1 pound eggplant, sliced very thin
1 pound tomatoes, sliced very thin
1/2 pound mild peppers, sliced very thin
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh herbs, chopped, such as basil, thyme, parsley, or tarragon
1 cup breadcrumbs
3 oz Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1. In a large colander, lay zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes and peppers in a single layer on the bottom and up the sides, then generously salt. Repeat until all of the vegetables are salted. Let drain in the sink for at least one hour.
2. Mix extra virgin olive oil and herbs in a large bowl, and set aside.
3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. After the hour, place the vegetables in a single layer on paper towels and dry thoroughly. Gently place vegetables in the bowl of extra virgin olive oil and mixed herbs and toss.
4. In a casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray, layer the vegetables and spread any remaining herbs over them. Bake 30 minutes.
5. Combine breadcrumbs, cheese and pepper and after the 30 minutes, remove the casserole and sprinkle the mixture on top. Increase heat to 450 degrees and bake for 10 minutes more. Remove and serve warm or at room temperature.
Writer Bio: Adrienne D. Capps loves food AND is a vegetarian! These things are not mutually exclusive in her world. She is passionate about eating, drinking, cooking, teaching, reading about food and growing food. Her goal with her food blog, Vegetarianized.com, is to open up the world of vegetarian cooking and eating to the veg-friendly and the veg-curious in an accessible way. She promises never to try to convert or make you feel guilty—just that eating less meat can be part of a healthy, fun and, above all, tasty lifestyle.