A tower or lovely colours this mini ratatouille. A fun twist on a French classic with roasted eggplant, zucchini, tomato, red bell pepper and goat cheese served with a Spanish Salsa Verde.
This mini Ratatouille is my favourite vegetarian dish, plus it’s so healthy and easy to make. This version is a mini one, a tower of all the classical ingredients topped with a Spanish salsa verde. There are so many versions of ratatouille out there, some with capers and a touch of vinegar (caponata) or spiced up a bit with Espelette pepper in the Basque region, etc. Most of the time aromatized with thyme, marjoram, laurel and other Mediterranean aromatic herbs. Some other times they add goat cheese or olives to the ratatouille. A pretty polyvalent dish!
This ancient 18th-century French dish is usually served as a side dish to meat or fish. Usually made in a casserole, this version is reversed, the ratatouille is the heart of the meal here. An elegant individual version results in a beautiful tower of colours and flavours. If you prefer making a full casserole ratatouille, check my recipe here, it’s another easy, tasty recipe made with some extra olives.
The Ratatouille Layers
The way I’ve disposed of 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 and not on the sides of the ratatouille. To make it hold better, I’ve inserted a toothpick to prevent the tower from collapsing. For the tomato choice, choose a firm interior, not too liquid, and a large type.
Olive oil the star
All the ingredients will cook to perfection at the same time, at the same temperature, so no worries here. Like in any type of ratatouille, the secret ingredient is: olive oil. Before making the mini ratatouilles, make sure you give a light coat of olive oil and salt to every layer, plus a final drizzle on top before cooking. Every layer is about 1 cm thick, and finally, you’ll start building the tower in this order; an eggplant, zucchini (3x), a side of bell pepper, eggplant, tomato, goat cheese, eggplant, etc.
Spanish Salsa verde
To finish the dish with a nice punch, and to give the dish some traditional garlic flavour too, I’ve added a Spanish salsa verde. Mashed in the mortar garlic, flat leave parsley, salt and olive oil until homogenous. So simple and yet it gives the dish a whole new dimension. This recipe is such an easy, healthy and pretty one to make, perfect for meatless Mondays.
So let’s make those mini ratatouilles!
- 2 eggplant
- 1 zucchini
- 1 big tomato
- 100 g goat cheese
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 100 ml olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 hand flat leave parsley
- salt and pepper
- Cut in 6-8mm slices, the eggplant, zucchini, tomato, goat cheese and drizzle with olive oil, salt and mix.
- Cut the red bell pepper lengthwise to make 4 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 olive on top and top it with the salsa verde.