Are you scrambling to use up all of the summer veggies you possibly can like I am? After all, in the words of Eddard Stark, “Winter is Coming!” If you are, ratatouille is a great dish to make; you can take out several of those veggies in your fridge in one fell swoop. I have been making a lot of this version of Ratatouille from Food & Wine, but figured I would mix it up a bit last night by making a tart instead of my usual rustic version.
Lovely summer veggies! I’ve been having terrible luck with finding “good” tomatoes, for it to be tomato season (albeit nearing the end). The three tomatoes in this pic are beautiful, but they turned out to be tasteless and mealy. I’m looking forward to having a garden full of larger-variety tomato plants next summer, when my husband and I (hopefully) have a house (instead of an apartment)! I can’t complain too much, though… the cherry and Roma tomatoes I grew in containers this year turned out wonderfully. Sorry… off on a tangent. Meanwhile, back at the ranch….
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed in the refrigerator
- 1/4 cup tomato sauce
- 1 zucchini
- 1 eggplant (long/thin Asian variety would work best, but I used an eggplant of the Black Beauty variety because it was in the garden)
- 1 Red (or orange, or yellow) sweet bell pepper
- 2 tsp olive oil
- (To taste) salt & pepper
- 1 tbs fresh basil (or other herb), chopped
- 1/3 cup grated Asiago cheese (Parm or Romano would also work well)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil that has been greased with cooking spray.
- Unfold the thawed puff pastry onto the prepared baking sheet; gently pierce the pastry all over with a fork. Spread with the tomato sauce, leaving a 1-inch border.
- Slice the veggies. For the pepper, remove the top and core (carefully), and slice into 1/8\\\" rings. For the zucchini and eggplant, remove the ends and slice into 1/8\\\" rings. (Now is the time to wish you had invested in a food processor. My lovely Santoku knife made pretty short work of the matter, though.)
- Layer the veggies in rows onto the puff pastry, alternating, as shown in the photos. (You will probably have some veggies left over.)
- Drizzle the veggies with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt & pepper.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the veggies are softened and the pastry is cooked through.
- Remove from the oven; sprinkle with the fresh herbs and cheese. (If you add these items at the beginning, they will burn before the rest of the tart is fully cooked.) Bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
You can use homemade sauce if you just happen to have it laying around. I didn’t, so I used the canned stuff. Please, don’t alert the authority.
Slice your veggies to be ^ that thin. I don’t have a mandoline or a food processor, just a very sharp knife. Note: If you have yellow squash, it would be delicious added into the veggie mix. Also, I planned to include tomato slices, but unfortunately the tomatoes I came away from the market with were not the greatest-tasting (*coughs* they were gross).
Oven preheated? Check. Puff pastry prepared? Check. Zucchini and pepper sliced? Check. Now you can slice the eggplant. I saved the eggplant for last, to reduce the unsightly browning that occurs when they are exposed to the air for any amount of time.
Arrange the veggies, like so. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt & pepper, to taste.
Yum! I know, I know… ratatouille does not “traditionally” contain cheese. Just trust me on this one, okay? Cheese = good.