Ratatouille is normally a summer time favorite in our house. The majority of the ingredients you can pick right out of your own garden or get at a local farmers market. If you do have to buy all of your items at the grocery store, normally you can get all of them for under $20. Plus, some of the ingredients you can use again for other meals. In the summer I have made this meal for around $4.00 for the whole family and had leftovers. My husband was craving this dish the other day, so I thought why not share one of our favorites with you.
2-3 Yellow summer squash
3-5 Whole tomatoes
1 Large purple onion
1 Package of Kielbasa
Olive Oil or Butter
I start first by getting out my mandoline (and play a little tune, jk) and use it to cut up my vegetables. I highly recommend a mandoline, because it takes half the time to get all of the vegetables cut up. ( I purchased my mandoline from Pampered Chef)
This is how my slices look after cutting them up. I haven’t measured them to know their thickness, but I would say around an 1/8 of an inch. I do all of them close to this size so that they lay and stack nice in my pot.
Once, I have all of my veggies cut up, it is time to start layering them in my pot. I use a cast iron dutch oven because I love how cast iron helps to flavor my cooking, plus to me they are durable and easy to take care of. Although, I would guess that it would turn out well in any pot you decide to cook yours in.
I take a little of every vegetable and some kielbasa and layer the bottom of the pot.
Between each layer I add the other ingredients. I shake a little pepper, salt, and Italian seasoning over them. Then I sprinkle a 1/2 a tablespoon of garlic on each layer (if you really love garlic, then you may want to add more). I drizzle some olive oil and chicken stock and then your ready for the next layer.
When, you are close to getting to the top of your pot you may notice that you have an excess of one vegetable or the other and this is when your pretty layers become jumbled. If you are a perfectionist then save those veggies for some other yummy dish or you can do as I do and just stuff them on top. Who cares right? All of the flavors are going to meld together anyway into to this hodgepodge of mouth watering goodness.
Mine always sticks up a little bit higher than the rim of the pot, but I put the lid on it anyway, because it will cook down some in the oven.
Now, you preheat the oven to 400 degrees and cook for 45 mins to 1 hour. This is what mine looks like after it is done cooking.
Enjoy! We did.
(I took the previous picture after all of the family had their share, the Ratatouille does not cook down that much)