I recently watched Disney’s Ratatouille movie for the 99th time. If you haven’t seen it yet, the moral of the story is that anyone can cook, even a rat. (It’s a cartoon, so don’t freak out.) Ratatouille is also a French dish and after watching the movie I was inspired to create my own version of this classic.
This is a simple saute of eggplant, zucchini, and squash in a tomato based sauce and served over polenta.
Ratatouille Over Polenta Recipe
(About 4 servings)
- 1 cup cornmeal (sometimes called polenta)
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped (about 1 small onion)
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 small eggplant, sliced
- 1 zucchini, sliced
- 1 yellow squash, sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 can (14.5 ounce) petite diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
- Cook the cornmeal into polenta according to the directions on the box.
- Stir in the grated Parmesan cheese.
- While the polenta is still hot, portion it equally into 4 round cookie cutters. I used English muffin rings, which are about 3 and 1/2 inches in diameter. Let it set.
- In a large skillet, over Medium heat, heat the oil.
- Add the chopped onions and cook them until they are tender.
- Add in the minced garlic, sliced eggplant, zucchini, and yellow squash.
- Season with salt and pepper and cook until all of the veggies are tender and slightly browned, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the petite diced tomatoes and fresh thyme and cook for an additional few minutes. The goal here is to warm up the tomatoes.
- Once the polenta has set, lift up the ring. Use a spatula to place it onto the serving dish.
- Place the slices of veggies in a concentric circle on top of the polenta, alternating the veggie type. Top with a spoonful of the tomatoes. Sprinkle with additional fresh thyme.
Source: Tina’s Chic Corner
Even though this recipe is basic and simple, I was in the mood to give it a fancy presentation like I saw on Ratatouille. I used an English muffin ring to make the disc of polenta because the size is perfect for one portion.
Eggplant, zucchini, squash, onions, and tomatoes are the quintessential veggies found in most ratatouille recipes. I seasoned the mixture with some thyme. It’s hard to explain it’s flavor, if you’ve never had it. I can say that it’s an earthy mild flavored herb that pairs well with lots of different vegetables.
I’m a bit of a perfectionist so I got a lot of satisfaction carefully placing the veggies in a concentric circle. Don’t want to be bothered? No problemo. Ratatouille is from the category of dishes commonly referred to as “peasant dishes” because all of the ingredients are inexpensive and readily available. I guarantee that your dish will be just as tasty if you place the veggies on top of the polenta with no rhyme or reason. My husband took the leftovers that I didn’t bother shaping into a beautiful presentation for lunch and definitely enjoyed it just as much without the presentation points.
I definitely believe that anyone can cook a delicious meal. I have not been to cooking school and I think I can serve a pretty mean meal. My husband agrees.
Do you think anyone can cook?
Here are some other great dinner ideas.