The other day, I found myself volunteering to make dinner for a couple of people with about an hour to decide what to make, make it, and clean the flat. No small task. But I had a giant eggplant in the fridge, and a zucchini. A plan was born.
I've experimented with ratatouille before, but this is the closest I've gotten to perfection, which means that the focus is on the flavor of the vegetables, baked into submission.
You won't believe how easy it was.
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 eggplant
- 1 zucchini
- 1 potato (normally it's red pepper, but I think potato gives a nice texture)
- 1 onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- Whatever Seasonings You Want (CHILLI FLAKES, CHILLI FLAKES)
First things first. Prick the potato all over, then cook it in the microwave for 4 minutes. While it's cooking, we'll prep the other ingredients.
First, pour a cup of tomato sauce into your baking dish. (Here's an easy tomato sauce recipe if you don't have your own version).
Then, thinly slice onion and garlic and layer it in the sauce. Don't worry how thin you slice the garlic, I know that can be challenging. Of course, there's a no-fault technique from Goodfellas you might find useful:
Of course, if you choose a cutthroat razor, you must also curse like a sailor for the rest of your cooking experience. And possibly murder someone...but I digress.
By this time, your potato will be cooked, so take it out. Then, score your eggplant and microwave it for 4 minutes. (You can skip the microwaving in theory, but I think it improves the final texture.)
While you're waiting, thinly slice your zucchini and potato. I'd leave the skins on to get the full effect of color. (also known as wash your vegetables, kids).
Now here's the fun part. Once you've sliced your eggplant, you get to start layering, like so:
Keep going round and round, then come into the center. You'll find, as I did, that the veg will stand up once the pan becomes more full. When you're done, it'll look like this:
Pretty, no? The tomato sauce displaced itself to the top. As you can see, I sprinkled chilli flakes all over, but you can season it how you like. Salt and black pepper is standard, then go nuts. Don't forget to drizzle a little olive oil.
That's it! Stick it in your oven. It'll be done after 30 minutes, but if you can wait for a full 45, the veggies will reach the height of their flavor power. I threw breadcrumbs on top halfway through the baking, but that's optional (and totally non-standard).
Et voila! With minimal effort, you too will get top ratings from Mr. Ego.