It’s the beginning of September, which means your kitchen counter is probably piled high with enormous zucchini, summer squash and peppers if you planted a vegetable garden this year.
What to do with all that produce? I wondered the same thing earlier this week, although the items came from my weekly fresh vegetable box, not from my garden. The box was piled high with green zucchini, yellow zucchini, crookneck squash and even an eggplant.
Ugh, eggplant. Haven’t had much love for the purple globe since a 2002 trip to Italy. Let’s just say it involved some eggplant parmesan, a restaurant that didn’t follow proper food storage guidelines and hours spent in a hotel bathroom. At least I managed to make it through the Sistine Chapel without desecrating it.
While perusing recipes that would make use of my vegetables – and hopefully hide the eggplant as much as possible – I came across this ratatouille tart.
Ratatouille! One of my family’s favorite Disney movies.
This isn’t a classic ratatouille, which is a traditional French vegetable stew. But it reminded me of the one on the movie, with its pretty layers of vegetables.
And with the puff pastry and tomato sauce and cheese, it’s kind of like a vegetable pizza. An incredibly tasty vegetable pizza (I even ate eggplant – and like it!).
Sadly, the hubby – who has a ridiculous aversion to vegetables – only picked at the pastry and cheese. I, however, ate three pieces.
And he calls himself a Ratatouille fan. Little Chef would be so disappointed.
If you have a mandoline, use it. It will make your life much easier, and the vegetables will be more uniform in size. Also, don’t let the pastry sheets thaw too much. It will start to stretch and be a pain to move (unless it’s already laid out on the baking sheet).
Recipe: Ratatouille tart
Adapted from smittenkitchen.com
- 14 ounces frozen puff pastry, slightly thawed
- 1 eggplant
- 1 zucchini
- 1 yellow zucchini
- 1 crookneck squash
- 1 red bell pepper
- Small can tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh thyme
- Feta and/or goat cheese, crumbled
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Once the puff pastry is thawed enough to be pliable, lay it on the baking sheet. Break off rectangles of the puff pastry as needed to make it fit on the baking sheet. Prick the pastry with a fork at 1-inch intervals.
- Spread the tomato sauce onto the pastry; leaving a 1-inch border at the edges.
- Trim the ends off the zucchinis, squash and bell pepper. Using a mandoline or a very sharp knife, slice the vegetables into very thin pieces, about 1/16th of an inch thick.
- Arrange the vegetables on top of the tart, concentrically or in rows, slightly overlapping them. You’ll probably have some left over.
- Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and salt and pepper, and sprinkle de-stemmed thyme leaves on top.
- Bake in the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until pastry is browned and the vegetables look soft.
- Slide onto a cutting board and sprinkle with feta and/or goat cheese. Cut into squares or strips.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
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