Ratatouille Bake

Made my ratatouille bake Wednesday night, and it was sooooo tasty, will definitely be cooking it again for sure!  In addition it was thrifty because we only had to purchase 2 extra items to do it (onion, red pepper), and it’ll definitely last more than 2 nights worth of dinners cos it turned out to be massive and very filling!
Note- this version is not low fat, but it is healthy fats in that it’s olive and canola oil, so I am not stressing about the fat content as it’s a pretty healthy dish to make!
Ratatouille Bake
  • 1 x aubergine
  • 1 x red pepper, chopped into bite-size chunks
  • 3 x carrots, chopped thinly/thinish
  • 2 x celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 x onion
  • red chilli – to your tastes
  • 2 x garlic cloves
  • 1 x can chopped tomatoes
  • 100ml red wine
  • 2 x can chickpeas
  • 50g lentils
  • 4 table spoons of olive/canola oil (I used up some canola leftover from a jar of marinated feta, so it added extra tastiness to the recipe!)
  • 2 teaS sweet paprika
  • 2 teaS hot paprika
  • teaS dried basil
  • 200g goats cheese – or however much you have- I had the remainder of a pot of marinated goats feta that needed using so I didn’t bother to weigh how much mine was am afraid.
  • Couple of teaS cornflour, if required.

Crumble

  • 300g breadcrumbs (wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too much- I only used half in the end!)
  • 1 tableS pesto
  • 1 TableS olive/canola oil
  • 1 teaS dried parsley, basil, sage, rosemary (or whatever herbs you happen to have in your cupboard!)
  1. Cut aubergine up into roughly inch-thick slices, place in colander over a bowl and sprinkle each slice with salt, cover with a plate and leave for half hour (or an hour- I did half hour and this was fine) – this reduces bitterness and draws out water from them.
  2. When they’re done, pat off the water with kitchen roll, and chop into cubes.
  3. With 3 tableS oil in a big casserole pot, fry onion, garlic and chilli for 10 mins.
  4. Add the rest of the veg and stirfry for another 10 mins.  By this time it was sticking a little as aubergine sucks up oil, so here is where I added the 4th tableS of oil.
  5. Add 100ml red wine and simmer for a few minutes.
  6. Add chopped tom, chickpeas, paprika, lentils and a cup or 2 of boiled water from the kettle to make sure there’s enough liquid for the lentils.
  7. Simmer covered for 25 mins, then uncover and simmer for 5 mins or so to reduce water and thicken.
  8. Add cornflour if necessary.  I used 2 teaspoons (mix with cold water before adding so it doesn’t clump!) – pour in, stirring the whole time.
  9. Take off heat and pour into a large ovenproof dish.
  10. Stir in the goats cheese and basil.
  11. Make the crumble- this can be done whilst your aubergines are being salted if you’d prefer.
  12. Mix the breadcrumbs (mine were a combo of bread, oatmeal, crumbled up cornflakes and wheatabix) with the pesto, oil and herbs.  Season, then top your ratatouille with the breadcrumbs.
  13. Bake at 190C for 25-30 mins till breadcumbs are golden brown.
  14. Enjoy!
I’ve never been a huge fan of home-cooked aubergine to be honest but this dinner was absolutely delicious and I can say with 100% certainty that I will be cooking this dish again!  Whenever I’ve cooked aubergine before they’ve never tasted that great- probably because I’d never done the salting thing before now.  I really recommend that you do this and don’t skip it- it’s not much of a faff to do cos you just chop the rest of your veg whilst you wait for them to be done, and it definitely made the taste and texture of the aubergine much better, so if you’re not usually keen on them give em a go with this method and you may change your mind!
Annoyingly the recipe called for LOADS of breadcrumbs, way more than I ended up needing, so I’ve ended up with even more breadcrumbs in the freezer than I had before- I had been so pleased they were gonna be used up as well!!!  But it’s ok, cos I now have the right amount leftover for the next time I do this dish, and it’s all seasoned/pesto’d/oiled up too, so it’s literally ready to take out and sprinkle on next time I make this! 🙂
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