I love ratatouille, a traditional Provencal eggplant stew with tomatoes.
I have been making it for years but always on the stove top.
Recently I tried a ratatouille baked in the oven, more like a tian, and I loved it.
I tried it at home and it was a much nicer way paired with fish like the beautiful halibut filets that I got at the fish market this week (finally!).
This is a bit unconventional, but it turned out great.
It was also delicious with scrambled eggs for breakfast the next morning!
Baked Ratatouille: (measurements are approximate, you may have some leftover vegetable slices)
4 Roma (plum) tomatoes, sliced thin
2 Indian or Italian eggplants (the small variety), sliced thin
1 green zucchini, sliced thin
1 yellow squash (which I forgot, so you will notice the missing yellow color), sliced thin
1 large onion, halved (you will put 1/2 the onion in the food processor)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 small can of diced tomatoes, drained (I use a can of Italian cherry tomatoes)
Kosher salt & olive oil
herbes de Provence (or dried thyme, oregano)
Make the sauce. (bossy, aren't I?).
In a food processor, add the red pepper pieces, half the onion and the 3 cloves of garlic. Pulse a few times until breaking down.
Now add the canned tomatoes that have been drained, and pulse until a nice sauce is forming.
Spread the red sauce in the bottom of a large gratin dish. Lay the other half of the onion (that has been sliced) on top of the sauce.
Lay your sliced zucchini, squash, tomatoes and eggplant on a baking sheet and sprinkle all with kosher salt.
Layer these in a pretty concentric pattern over the tomato/red pepper sauce.
Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle w/ more kosher salt.
I added herbes de Provence at the end to make more of an authentic Provencal dish!
Press down with your hands so it soaks into the sauce, and add a piece of aluminum foil and press down to cover tightly.
Bake about 2 hours at 350F. I like to finish it the last few minutes in the oven without the cover so it gets crispy looking.
Serve as a base for fish or on its own.