Roasted Eggplant Tomato Ratatouille

Dear Sally,
I’m in 2nd grade and I LOVE to cook. But the food that my mom and I dislike is eggplant. The look of it, the texture — all yuck. We hope that you can make a recipe that gets us to like it, especially because we like to eat a mostly vegetarian diet.
Thanks! Cate, age 8.

Sally says:
Ratatouille (rat-a-TOO-ee) comes from southern France. A mix of mostly eggplant, tomatoes, and zucchini, it can also include other ingredients for extra zip. Eat it hot or cold, by itself, on a cracker, as an omelet filling, or as a topping on almost anything: pizza, pasta, rice, burgers, chicken, or fish.

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Hands-on time: 45   |    Total time: 90   |    Makes: 4 Servings

KITCHEN GEAR

Cutting board
Sharp knife (adult needed)
Measuring spoons
Large mixing bowls
Measuring cup
Large mixing bowl
Measuring cup
Large mixing spoon
Large baking sheet with sides

INGREDIENTS

1 unit yellow or red onion, peeled and diced
2 unit garlic cloves, peeled and diced
1 unit small or ½ large eggplant, diced
1 unit zucchini, diced
1 unit red bell pepper, cored and diced
2 cup canned or fresh tomatoes, diced
1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 unit lemon, cut in four quarters
unit Shredded Parmesan cheese
unit Fresh basil leaves

INSTRUCTIONS

Wash your hands with soap and water, then gather all your kitchen gear and ingredients and put them on a clean counter.

  1. Turn the oven on and set the heat to 450 degrees.
  2. Put the onion, garlic, eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, and tomatoes in the large mixing bowl and mix well. Add the thyme, oil, and salt, and mix again.
  3. Tip the bowl onto the baking sheet and let everything slide onto the baking sheet. Spread the vegetables into a single layer.
  4. Once the oven temperature has reached 450 degrees, put the baking sheet in the oven and bake until everything is softened (especially the eggplant — poke it with a fork to check) about 45 minutes.
  5. Remove the baking sheet from the oven.
  6. Serve hot or let cool, cover and refrigerate up to 2 days. Just before serving, squeeze the lemon over it, and add the Parmesan cheese and basil.

Dear Sally, Great news!

The ratatouille was a hit! We served it on top of pasta, topped with torn basil leaves from our plant and lots of shredded Parmesan cheese. YUM. It smelled like lasagna while it was cooking (a good thing) and tasted great. We want to keep the recipe in rotation. Victory! Cate.

 

DID YOU KNOW?

Vegetables have families too! Eggplant belongs to the nightshade family — which also includes tomatoes, sweet peppers, and potatoes. Search the supermarket for all different colors: light purple eggplants, bright green bell peppers, and orange tomatoes!

 

Minced means finely chopped Diced means cut up in squares about the size of dice.