Ratatouille is my favorite vegetarian dish, plus it’s so easy, fast, healthy and tasty. This version is a mini version, a tower of all the ingredients topped with a Spanish style salsa verde. There are so many version of ratatouille out there, some are with capers and a touch of vinegar (caponata) or spiced up a bit with espelette pepper in the Basque region, etc. I like my ratatouille with a touch of goat cheese in it but you could replace it by a simple fresh mozzarella. This 18 century born dish is usually served as a side dish, made in a casserole but this version is reversed, the ratatouille is the heart of the meal here. An elegant individual version resulting into a beautiful tower of colors and flavors. If you prefer making a full casserole ratatouille, check my recipe here, it’s another easy, tasty recipe made with some extra kalamata olives.
The way I’ve disposed the layers is important here, you want the tomato to be high enough in the tower to lose most of its juice on the underneath layers, which will absorb it. Also, the goat cheese should be on top of the tomato layer to make it melt through the tomato holes and not on the sides or the ratatouille. To make it hold better, I’ve inserted a toothpick through the first 4 layers just to prevent the tower from collapsing. For the tomato choice, choose a firm interior and large tomato for this dish. All the ingredients will cook to perfection, in the same time, same temperature, so no worries here. Like in any types of ratatouille, the unforgivable ingredients is: the olive oil. Before making the mini ratatouilles, make sure you give a light coat of olive oil and salt to every layer + a final drizzle on top before coccion. Every layers are about 1 cm thick, and finally you’ll start building the tower in this order; an eggplant, zucchini (3x), side of bell pepper, eggplant, tomato, goat cheese, eggplant.
The final touch
To finish the dish with a nice punch, I’ve drizzled the ratatouille with a powerful Spanish style salsa verde. Made out of garlic, flat leave parsley, salt and olive oil. So simple and yet it gives the dish a whole new dimension those few drops. For the salsa verde, I’ve used a small blender, but a mortar would do too, and make sure not to over blend, then it cooks the parsley and changes the color. After all, it’s called salsa verde, not salsa brownish verde… This recipe is such an easy, healthy and pretty one to make, perfect for meatless mondays or vegetarians. Accompany with rice, couscous or pasta.
So let’s make those mini ratatouilles!
Makes 4 portions | Difficulty: terribly easy | Preparation: 10 minutes | Coccion: 30 minutes
- 2 large eggplants
- 1 zucchini
- 1 tomato, large and firm
- fresh goat cheese
- 1 bell pepper (squarish formed to have 4 flat pieces)
Spanish salsa verde
- 100ml of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
- about 25 leaves of parsley
Bring the oven to 180°C (350F)
- Cut in 1 cm thick slices the eggplant, zucchini, tomato, goat cheese (1/2 cm) and drizzle some olive oil and salt on the slices and mix
- Cut the bell pepper flat sides to make 4 plane rectangles and drizzle with olive oil and salt
- On a greased or covered baking sheet, make the towers by stacking the eggplant, then 3 zucchinis, pepper, eggplant, tomato, goat cheese and finish with the eggplant
- Add a toothpick through the ratatouille tower
- Drizzle a bit more olive oil and salt
- Cook at 180°C (350F) for 30 minutes
- During that time, in a blender or mortar, mix all the salsa verde ingredients and blend
- Serve the mini ratatouilles without the toothpick, add a cherry tomato or a nice kalamata olive on top and a drizzle of Spanish salsa verde.