Everyone has their own dietary tastes, and sharing house space with another person can sometimes make that a challenge. Not everyone likes and enjoys all foods equally, in other words, and by “all foods,” I mean vegetables. Maybe there’s someone like that in your household, too, and you can relate? A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is an important part of an overall healthy lifestyle. How can we eat more vegetables? One way is ratatouille, the vegetable world’s secret weapon.
Nope, Ratatouille isn’t just a cute movie about a cartoon rodent, it’s a very old dish from southern France, a coarse vegetable stew traditionally made by peasants and farmers. Like all traditional dishes, there are many, many ways to cook it, but most recipes call for cooking the vegetables separately then blending them together later, so that each vegetable tastes unique.
Super fun to say, ratatouille is even more fun to eat. In the summer time, I like to grill slices of zucchini, eggplant, onion, peppers and tomatoes to char them up a bit before chopping them up and combining them into a beautiful vegetable mélange. However, I’ve found that roasting everything at a high temperature does much the same thing. Roasting caramelizes them, concentrating their flavors and making those vegetables richer for it. Even in the early months of spring, you can make this hearty vegetable flatbread; it’s low in calories and big in flavor, and can be made from the comfort of your own kitchen. And it’s so delightful, even sworn meat eaters may enjoy it.
Eggplants and zucchini tend to get slimy if they’re sautéed in the pan, so to avoid this, roasting in the oven is key. And the really nice thing about ratatouille is that it can be eaten hot or cold, so you can make this flatbread pizza and use any leftovers as a dip, omelet filling, or a meal on a bed of couscous later on, once your flatbread is long gone. It’s such a delicious way to eat your veggies. Topped with some salty, crumbly feta cheese is my personal favorite way to enjoy it, but maybe that’s because I’m a complete feta freak.
Make some ratatouille today, slather it on a flatbread, crumble a little feta cheese over it, and watch your non-vegetable lover devour it. It’s that good!
-Amy at Flatout
- 1 Flatout flatbread, Light Original
- 1/2 cup each diced eggplant, red bell pepper, onion, zucchini
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup fat-free mozzarella, shredded
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Non-stick olive oil cooking spray
Preheat oven to 425°F. In a bowl, combine the vegetables, garlic, lemon juice, and oregano with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil spray then arrange the diced vegetable mixture evenly on the pan. Bake at 425°F, turning if necessary, until roasted, browned in parts, and very tender. Remove from oven and scrape vegetables into the bowl, this time tossing with tomato paste, salt and pepper, allowing flavors to meld. Turn the oven down to 375°F. Place Flatout flatbread on a cookie sheet. Bake at 375°F for two minutes. Remove from the oven, and spread the vegetable mixture over the flatbread, crumble the feta cheese over the vegetables, then top with the mozzarella cheese. Bake for four minutes until cheese is melted. Top with fresh basil.