I'll admit that maybe this wasn't quite as much baking as cooking, but I did finish it off in the oven, and it could easily be adapted to more of a casserole-type dish that would include a lot more oven time.
This challenge was a real reminder of the difference that using fresh, quality ingredients makes - and everything we used was free! In addition to the squash, basil and bell peppers that we've been growing, we were also able to visit the farm that a friend of David's dad owns. It is officially closed for the season, but they have a ton of produce left on the plants that is ready to be picked. We came home with bags absolutely full of tomatoes (large and small), potatoes, peppers, onions and eggplant.
I love that all of the produce we used was not only local, but grown by us or people we know, and that we were able to show David's family a recipe that was both delicious AND nutritious. But best of all, this was one of the easiest recipes I've ever made. We've already been back to the loot the farm so we can make this again!
There is no real recipe, so to speak. I heard someone once say that the magic trick to making ratatouille was using the order EZPOT, so that's basically all I did - Eggplant, Zucchini, Peppers, Onions, Tomatoes.
Olive oil, or cooking spray
Peppers (Bell, any color)
Onions (I used sweet Vidalia but any will do)
Heat a large saucepan to medium heat, adding olive oil or cooking spray and garlic, to taste. Simmer until garlic is soft and fragrant.
Chop vegetables and add to saucepan (in EZPOT order) until each is soft.
Roasted Tomato Sauce
Small tomatoes (we used sungolds, but cherry or grape would work too)
Salt, pepper, sugar, basil and/or Italian seasoning, to taste
Preheat oven to 350 and spread tomatoes, garlic cloves (unpeeled) and chopped onion on a roasting pan. Drizzle with EVOO, if desired.
Roast until tomatoes are soft with wrinkled skin.
Remove from oven and let everything cool. Remove skin from garlic and place everything in a blender. Blend until desired consistency is reached.
Add seasonings and olive oil, to taste. We used chopped fresh basil, a pinch of sugar, some fresh ground salt and pepper, and a sprinkle of Italian seasoning.
Serve* with pasta and ratatouille.