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By Christine Wong

Ever since I saw the Pixar movie Ratatouille, I knew I had to make ratatouille this way. Traditional ratatouille is a peasant vegetable stew of mushy vegetables, but this preparation method is much more impressive and the vegetables don’t all fall to pieces! This is also one of my all-​time favorite dishes to prepare with children of any age. I still prefer to call it a ratatouille, but I’m often corrected and told it’s either a tian or confit byaldi. So I came up with my own name for this dish: Ratatian. I’ve tried it with all sorts of sauces as the base, and I’m delighted with the outcome every time. Try to use vegetables that are roughly the same diameter.

RATATOUILLE’S RATATOUILLE

Makes 6 to 8 servings

  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons fresh oregano
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper,
  • to taste
  • 1 Asian eggplant
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 small summer squash
  • ½ red bell pepper, deseeded
  • 3 small plum tomatoes

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

In a food processor fitted with the “S” blade, process the tomatoes, shallot, and garlic until pureed.

Transfer to a 10-​inch round baking dish. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and sprinkle with ½ of the oregano. Season with the salt and black pepper.

Using a mandolin or a really sharp knife, thinly and evenly slice the eggplant, zucchini, summer squash, and bell pepper into ⅛-inch-​thick rounds and strips (the thinner, the better!). Using a sharp knife, slice the plum tomatoes as evenly as possible. Compile the vegetable slices into colorful, patterned mini-​stacks.

Arrange these vegetable stacks, a few at a time, into the prepared baking dish in a concentric spiral pattern from the outer edge to the inside, taking care to fan them out a bit. Stuff in as many vegetable slices as possible, saving the smaller rounds for the center of the dish. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with the salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with the remaining oregano.

Cover the dish with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit just inside the dish’s rim, directly atop the arranged vegetables, and bake for 40 minutes to 1 hour, or until softened but not limp, depending on the thickness of your vegetable slices. Remove from the oven.

Serve immediately.

Make It Your Way: Choose Your Favorite Combination

LIQUID BASE (1 cup)

  • Cashew Cream
  • Creamy Soup
  • Curry
  • Fresh tomato puree
  • Raw Marinara Sauce

AROMATICS

(2–3 tablespoons)

  • Fresh chives
  • Freshly grated ginger
  • Garlic
  • Green onion
  • Leeks
  • Onion
  • Shallots

OIL (2 tablespoons)

  • Coconut
  • Olive
  • Sesame, light
  • Sunflower seed

HERBS (3 teaspoons)

  • Fresh basil
  • Fresh oregano
  • Fresh parsley
  • Fresh thyme

VEGETABLES (5 pieces)

  • Beets
  • Bell peppers
  • Carrots
  • Delicata squash
  • Eggplant
  • Parsnips
  • Plum tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Summer squash
  • Sunchokes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Turnips
  • Zucchini

SEASONING (¼ teaspoon)

  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt
  • OIL (2 tablespoons)
  • Coconut
  • Olive
  • Sesame, light
  • Sunflower seed

HERBS (3 teaspoons)

  • Fresh basil
  • Fresh oregano
  • Fresh parsley
  • Fresh thyme

VEGETABLES (5 pieces)

  • Beets
  • Bell peppers
  • Carrots
  • Delicata squash
  • Eggplant
  • Parsnips
  • Plum tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Summer squash
  • Sunchokes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Turnips
  • Zucchini

SEASONING (¼ teaspoon)

  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt

MORE RECIPE IDEAS

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