Ratatouille Pot Pie With Potato Crust
I made Ratatouille Pot Pie this week, and it was a fucking treat in so many ways.
First things first, I LOVE ratatouille. It tastes delightful and I enjoy saying it, but ratatouille and I also have an emotional connection. We have history. ‘Twas one of the very first things I learned how to make at Le Cordon Bleu, and I became instantly enamored. I think I made it three times a week during my two-year Parisian tenure. Maybe more. Usually with a classy pre-formed turkey burger from my local grocery chain on the side. (It was a weird phase in my turkey burger history.) I also whipped it up for my former roommate and almost every person that came over for dinner.
Speaking of ratatouille and my former roommate (hi, Baysie!), I just remembered I once used ratatouille to apologize after I accidentally locked her in our apartment for half a day. I wrote one of my very first blog posts about it!
I’m literally chortling at my desk right now. Don’t you dare judge my Blackberry photos.
(Also, do NOT make that ratatouille recipe. Or the chicken. Your weird blog lady was still figuring her shit out.)
Ratatouille has remained a staple in my recipe rotation over the years thanks to its simplicity, versatility and healthy deliciousness (duh), but mostly because I love the process of making it. The vegetable dicing, the slow addition of different veggies to the pan, the gentle simmer while the flavors get friendly and everything cooks down—it’s meditative. And unlike regular meditation, you end up with a dish of comforting, flavor packed, melt-in-your mouth vegetables at the end of your
It’s been a tough few weeks on the sleep front for this mild insomniac, and I’ve been eating a lot of meaty Dude Diet thangs, so when I spotted this Ratatouille Pot Pie with a Potato Crust in my friend Jodi’s gorgeous new book More With Less, I was giddy with excitement. I had many a cookbook recipe to test and deadlines to meet, but Jodi’s recipe was screaming “TREAT YO’SELF!!!”
So I did.
I closed the refrigerator door on a pork tenderloin and a flank steak and gave myself the glorious gift of ratatouille. I spent 45 minutes slicing, dicing, sautéing, and layering while listening to Armchair Expert, and it was nothing short of glorious. I managed to take a few glamour shots of the final dish—it was extremely pretty for something involving stewed vegetable (hats off to Jodi on the potato crust)—before curling up in my favorite chair and happily crushing a giant bowl of the stuff.
Ratatouille is the new anxiety blanket. You heard it hear first. #selfcare (I am trendy and topical!)
We’re deep in this post already, but you know what ratatouille is, right??! If not (no judgment, I just feel like an asshole now), it’s a vegetable medley—typically eggplant, onion, squash, and tomatoes—sautéed with lots of olive oil, garlic, maybe a splash of wine and an herb or two, and cooked down until the veggies are suuuuuper tender. The resulting dish is somehow so much more than the sum of its parts, and Jodi’s recipe is particularly perfect. And the fact that she serves it casserole style with a layer of potatoes on the top of bottom makes it that much more hearty and irresistible.
This recipe is a satisfying vegetarian meal (although I wouldn’t be against meat-lovers adding some sausage), but it also makes a showstopping side for entertaining, and leftovers are insane with an egg on top. And even though it involves mostly summer veggies, they’re ones that you can anytime, so it’s really a year-round dish.
You should make it.
You should also get Jodi’s book. It’s filled with mostly veggie-centric dishes (there is an excellent fish chapter though), and they’re all mind-blowingly flavorful and creative while still being approachable. Her entire cooking and eating philosophy is summed up in the book’s title: MORE WITH LESS: Whole Food Cooking Made Irresistibly Simple. I love it, and I think you might too.
I’m giving away a copy of Jodi’s book (and a few others!!) on Instagram this weekend, so come hang!
Ratatouille Pot Pie With A Potato Crust (Serves 4-6)
3 to 4 medium white potatoes (I used Yukon Gold)
3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium-size eggplant, diced
1 large red onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, smashed and thinly sliced
Pinch or two of red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 medium yellow zucchini, diced
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/3 cup white wine or mirin
5 to 6 basil leaves, finely chopped
-Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
-Using about half of the sliced potatoes, make a single layer at the bottom of a medium baking dish. (I used a 7”x11”, Jodie uses a 9” round.) Drizzle lightly with olive oil, and set aside while you make the ratatouille.
-Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large, deep pan over medium heat. Add the eggplant and cook for about 10 minutes, until lightly browned and tender. If the eggplant has absorbed all the oil, add more so it does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Remove the eggplant and set aside.
-In the same pan, add a little more oil and the onion. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the onion is soft and starting to brown. Then add the garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to taste and cook for 2 minutes.
-Add both zucchini, and cook for about 10 minutes, until soft, and add in the tomatoes.
-Cook for another 5 or so minutes, then add back the eggplant. Add the wine and cook for a few minutes, until about half of the liquid has evaporated and all of the vegetables are tender and cooked through. At this point you should have a little bit of “sauce” from the vegetables and wine left at the bottom of the pan. Add the basil, give it a stir to incorporate, and remove it form the heat and pour the ratatouille into the baking dish. Layer the remaining potatoes over the top, brush the potatoes generously with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
-Bake for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are browned around the edges and tender.
-Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. Serve warm.
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