Sometimes, there is something about a dish that combines the beauty of the art world, the lyrical heart soaring nature of a poem, and the celebration of nature that makes me only able to describe the dish as sublime. Just the act of making it makes me fall in love with food all over again.
This is one of those dishes.
This dish gets all its flavor from the delicious tomato layer which has herbs, garlic and wine and infuses all the veggies. You can use any root vegetable here – parsnips, winter squash, potatoes are all wonderful, you just want to try to find ones that have a uniform diameter so it cooks evenly and looks pretty. The olive oil, Herbes de Provence and fresh parm at the end make this dish irresistible.
My neighbors are from Ireland and France, and so they were looking for dishes to help create their own Thanksgiving. When I made this for them, they loved it so much they made it for their own Thanksgiving. It is still a few weeks away but if you are looking for a new tweak for your table, this one’s a winner.
It does call for a mandolin but there are so many affordable models on Amazon if you don’t have one already. It is so easy to use and clean. I use this one and I love it. Also this can be prepared the day before and cooked or reheated on the day you serve it.
I hope this finds its way to one of your Sunday roast suppers, or maybe next to a Saturday night steak, or all the way to Thanksgiving! It’s the perfect dish for any one of these, which makes me love it even more.
Happy Eating! xoxo Katie
Winter Ratatouille – Serves 6-8
For vegetable layer:
1 butternut squash -choose one with a long neck if possible
2 small or 1 large turnip
1 extra-large carrot if possible, or 2 large
1 sweet potato, choose one that is long and narrow
For tomato sauce:
2 T. olive oil
½ medium onion, diced
5 garlic cloves
14 oz. can diced tomatoes (fire roasted works well but regular is fine)
1 tablespoon sage, finely chopped
1 tsp. rosemary, finely chopped
1 tsp. thyme, finely chopped
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon dry white wine or red wine vinegar
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
Preheat oven to 400.
Heat oil in a medium sauce pan over low heat. When hot, add the onions with a pinch of salt and sauté for 3 minutes. Then add garlic and cook for one minute, stirring often. Add tomatoes, sage, rosemary, thyme, butter, and salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. When finished, spread evenly in the bottom of an oval baking dish.
Separate butternut squash neck from round part and reserve. Peel vegetables. Using a mandolin, slice squash, turnip, carrot and sweet potato ¼ inch thick. Layer at an angle around oval baking dish. Drizzle olive oil over top liberally, then sprinkle with Herbes de Provence, salt, pepper and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Cover with tin foil and bake at 400 for 45 minutes. Remove tin foil and bake for another 20-30 min. more until vegetables are tender.