Ratatouille Gratin

~ Ratatouille Gratin ~

It’s that time of year when the vegetables sneak up on you. A month ago, summer squash were elusive, appearing in the markets in small groups at a price. In the garden they were merely a hint of themselves peeking from their flowers. Purchases felt premature, tasting a little bitter, and costing too much for something you knew would soon be prolific.

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Then, before you know it, a month has passed and squash are teeming everywhere. The garden is lobbing them to you like tennis balls, the market shelves are stacked with zucchini, crooknecks, and patty pans, ripe and ready for consumption. With the bounty, it’s time to get creative, because, ironically, it’s easy to tire of this abundance, and that is a shame.  So, yesterday I was determined to use my imagination to celebrate summer squash. Instead of a traditional ratatouille, I made a gratin. And before I made the gratin, I played a little bit with my food and made Ratatouille Stacks.

~ Ratatouille Stacks ~

The ingredients are identical, only the arrangement is different. Serve the gratins as side dishes or a light vegetarian meal. The stacks are fun appetizers.

Ratatouille Gratin with Goat Cheese and Basil

Try to choose squash and eggplant of a similar diameter. This recipe makes enough for an 8 to 9-inch square or round pan. Alternatively, you can arrange the vegetables in smaller individual gratin dishes.

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Serves 4

1 narrow eggplant, about 10 ounces
1 medium zucchini, about 6 ounces
1 medium yellow squash, about 6 ounces
1 large red bell pepper, quartered and seeded
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup basil leaves, torn into 1/2-inch pieces, plus extra for garnish
3 ounces soft fresh goat cheese

1. Preheat the oven broiler.
2. Slice the eggplant, zucchini, and yellow squash crosswise about 1/3 inch thick. (If the eggplant is much wider than the squash, quarter lengthwise and slice 1/3 inch thick.)
3. Arrange the eggplant, zucchini, squash, and peppers in one layer on an oiled baking tray. Brush the tops with additional oil and lightly season with salt and black pepper. Broil on the top shelf of the oven until the vegetables are tender, but not mushy, and brown in spots, 8 to 10 minutes, turning once. Remove and cool to the touch.
4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil an 8 or 9-inch square or round gratin dish. Arrange the vegetables, alternating and slightly overlapping, in rows or a circular pattern. Tuck the basil between the vegetables in a random pattern so that it is evenly distributed. Scatter grape-size amounts of the goat cheese evenly over the vegetables.
5. Bake the gratin in the oven until the cheese is soft and light golden in spots, about 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with extra basil if desired.

30 thoughts on “Ratatouille Gratin

  1. I love a woman who plays with her food. Pretty much anything can be made better by making it into a gratin, don’t you agree? Gorgeous colors and I can only imagine how flavorful this dish was. – S

  2. These look so fresh and delicious! – I love the ratatouille stacks and the little mounds of goat cheese atop the basil.

  3. Simply gorgeous! I’d be snapping pictures of this colorful dish too! Layers of goat cheese and veggies, I’m loving every thought of this dish!

  4. I have never seen ratatouille done this way before! It looks so much more appetizing to me – in fact, down right delicious!!!! The presentation is beautiful!

  5. Mmm, looks beautiful 😀 Can’t wait to try this when my zucchini are going crazy.

  6. Lynda, I love your understated humor. And am in complete agreement that it’s a shame to lose interest in the super-abundant summer squashes. Love this variation!

  7. Wonderful, enticing photographs! you’re right, everything is so tasty these days my only problem is not overbuying because I would hate to waste anything!

  8. I just made this and loooved it! I couldn’t handle the basil, so I left it out, but other than that it was amazing. Thanks!

  9. Came across this under your “if you like this….”. I was looking for a non traditional way to use all the wonderful seasnal vegies at the farmer’s market and saw your pin. Stunning! Thank you so much for sharing.

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