I’m not ashamed to say that I love cartoon movies. Some of them really are entertaining, and sometimes adults like them more than the kids. One of my absolute favorites is Ratatouille. You know, the cute little mouse who loves to cook and hides underneath one of the chef’s hats and secretly feeds him directions as he whips up delicious food to serve to guests at the famous Auguste Gusteau’s restaurant. Yep, love it.
Ever since I watched that movie, I’ve been curious about ratatouille. What is it, exactly? Basically it’s a French dish composed of vegetables that you cook long enough so they become soft and become a stew. The staple ingredients are tomatoes, garlic, onion, zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, and spices such as marjoram, basil, bay leaf and thyme. Some recipes call for sautéing the vegetables together, some say to sauté them separately and then layer them into a casserole and bake, and some say to simmer all the vegetables in one big pot.
I wanted to make ratatouille, but I didn’t want to get all crazy. I wanted something simple. So that’s what I did. I used what veggies I had on hand and put together a pretty nice dish if I do say so myself. It may not have all of the ingredients that a proper ratatouille calls for, but oh well, it’s what my ratatouille calls for! I’m really going out of the box here. I topped my ratatouille with roasted chickpeas and crumbled feta and had a really quick, simple, healthy meal in less than 30 minutes.
Easy Skillet Ratatouille with Chickpeas and Feta
2 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, minced
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
2 roma tomatoes, sliced ½ inch thick
1 small eggplant, sliced ½ inch thick
1 small zucchini, sliced ½ inch thick
1 small yellow squash, sliced ½ inch thick
1 tbsp Gourmet Garden Italian Herbs
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, squash and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.
Reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, for about 25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Discard the bay leaf. Top with chickpeas and feta.