Before my stint in Paris, my grandmother shared some concerns with me. (Of course she did; she's Nana. It's what she does. That and love me despite the concerns.) I've forgotten most of her admonitions/suggestions, but I will never forget how scandalized she was when she realized I was moving to France for eight months and didn't like zucchini, eggplant, or tomatoes. It would be, she predicted, a real problem.
Fast forward eight years, and I love all three. I'm not sure we can credit the market at Place Monge in the 5th for that, but I haven't looked back since! My farmers' market haul at this time of year always includes zucchini and summer squash (and cherry tomatoes, if they don't cost a fortune, though I often buy them in bulk from Costco because I pop them like tic-tacs.) And, now that I've discovered the joys of my mandolin, we're eating ratatouille either baked or braised for at least a few meals every week. I usually make up the recipe as I go along - here's what tonight's dish looks like:
Ratatouille Tart1 box phyllo dough
2 summer squash
3 baby eggplants
1/2 lbs ricotta
salt, pepper, herbs, chili flakes
Preheat oven to 400º. Brush a baking dish with olive oil and place the phyllo dough inside, making sure the dough is square in the corners and flush against the sides. (There should be extra dough overhanging the edges - this is a good thing!) Brush the phyllo dough with olive oil and spread half the ricotta evenly on top. Layer rounds of the vegetables over that, and then sprinkle with salt, pepper, and herbs and/or chili flakes as desired. Add a second level of ricotta and then another layer of vegetables. Top with salt, pepper, and herbs and/or chili flakes as desired. Fold the extra phyllo dough over the top to enclose the casserole and brush all over with olive oil. Bake for 25 minutes or until nicely golden. Serve and enjoy!
If you want more established recipes, here are two of my favorites:
Smitten Kitchen's Ratatouille Tart
Alice Waters' Ratatouille
What are yours, dear readers? Please share - I'd love some new ideas!