Ratatouille is such an healthy, delicious and colourful vegetarian meal. You get to eat it with the eyes as much as with your tastebuds It’s a packed with flavors in my top 10 vegetarian recipes. The secret in this recipe lies at the bottom of the dish, you don’t get to see… but it’s the core of the dish, which hides all the flavours. A sauce made with; goat cheese, tomato, garlic, pepper and thyme. I add some extra on top of the ratatouille; great kalamata olive to give it an extra kick of flavor.
I, personally, am a big goat cheese lover, but for those who doesn’t like it, just omit it. My husband used to dislike goat cheese… At first I would add a tiny amount to my Ratatouille and he would never notice it. Then more and more and now he is a medium goat cheese lover. Thanks to this recipe. My man ate two plates, even if he is not a goat cheese fan… so it says it all. Even the biggest goat cheese sceptic might fall for this one. You’ll see… it gives the ratatouille a whole new dimension, an extra smoothness to the meal. You could also add some other cheese at the bottom, like cheddar, fresh mozzarella, etc. it’s all up to you.
A few juicy kalamatas olives on top are a must, again optional, but give that extra touch of salt to the Ratatouille. Just a few freshly cracked Kalamata olives will do, and a touch of thyme and olive oil to make this dish Mediterranean flavoured. Every countries bordering the Mediterranean sea got their own version of Ratatouille, for example; the greek calls it Tourlou, the Turks; Türlu; the Catalan calls it samfaina, Italian; caponata, etc. all have a little variation to it, but at the end of the day: this dish is beloved by many.
So let’s get this goat cheese-kalamata version of ratatouille going!
Makes 4 portions
- 1 eggplant
- 2 zucchinis
- 1/4 of a onion
- 1 bell pepper (yellow)
- 3 tomatoes
- 1 garlic clove
- 100g tomato paste
- 75g fresh goat cheese
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 10 Kalamata olives
- thyme, parsley, chives
- salt and pepper
Bring oven to 180°C (350F)
- Blend the tomato paste, onion, 2/3 of the pepper, garlic, goat cheese, 4 cracked open olives, thyme, parsley and 1 tbsp of olive oil in a mixer
- Add the paste to the bottom of a oven proof recipient, I use a 30cm long pyrex (12 inch)
- Cut the washed eggplant, zucchinis, tomatoes and the leftover of pepper with a mandoline (5mm cut)
- Add a bottom layer with only the zucchini and eggplant, alternately
- Add the top layer, alternately the zucchini, eggplant, pepper and tomato
- Add a few cracked open olives, chives or thyme and 2 tbsp of olive oil on top
- Cook for 30 minutes at 180°C (350F)
Serve with a basmati rice, plain pasta, couscous or as it is. Enjoy!