Vegan Gluten-Free Ratatouille

Ratatouille: delicious and spectacular vegan gluten-free dish that will be a star of any table. Healthy, flavorful, impressive looking and comforting dish.

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Here is something that looks impressive and is insanely delicious, comforting and filling. I mean, even people who don’t like onions, eggplants and zucchini find it super tasty. It says a lot, doesn’t it? Ratatouille might be a perfect vegan side (main) dish you are looking for. It takes a while to make but believe me, it’s certainly worth the time and efforts! The classic version of ratatouille is a simple rustic vegetable casserole, but it can be transformed in a spectacular dish that will impress everyone (even vegetable haters)! You can be sure that it’ll be the star of your holiday table, be it Thanksgiving, Christmas or any other family gathering. Oh, and if you think that there is no way vegetables can surprise you, make sure you try it.

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Ratatouille is often mixed up with confit byaldi. The difference is that confit byaldi is a contemporized version of ratatouille which doesn’t require frying vegetables before being baked. It also looks more fancy, as vegetables are arranged in fine slices, resembling an accordion.

As always, I’ve adopted the recipe of ratatouille for those who are on the healthy side, so you can be sure that you will stay fit even after an extra portion. I like tomato sauce a lot, so in my recipe veggies are floating in it, as you can see on the pictures of the ready dish. I also add carrots to the sauce because it makes the taste richer. You can use a mandoline to slice vegetables or do it carefully with a knife. I recommend this Mandoline SlicerIf you think about purchasing it through Amazon, please use the link I provided, because it would get me a tiny commission. ???? I only recommend it because it is very useful and I use it a lot.

I would divide the whole process of making ratatouille (enough for 8 servings) in 3 steps:

Ratatouille. Step 1.

Make the sauce. It’s also called a pipérade. You’ll need 2 bell peppers (yellow or red), 2 onions, 2 medium-sized carrots, 7-9 fresh tomatoes or 2 cans of tomatoes and 3-4 cloves of garlic. Additionally, you’ll need thyme and bay leaves. Roast bell pepper halves in the oven for 20 minutes. Chop and sauté onions and garlic, then add diced tomatoes, two bay leaves and 3-4 sprigs of thyme. When bell peppers are done, remove the skin, chop and add them to the sauce. Let it cook for as long as possible, stirring occasionally (up to 1 hour 30 minutes). I will state the minimum cooking and roasting times in the recipe below. When the sauce is ready, discard the herbs and blend it until smooth. I use this blender, but a handheld one will also work just fine. We got our blender as a Christmas gift from my parents-in-law last year, and I’m very happy that we did! I, for example, use it to make sauces, soups, smoothies and even crush ice for cocktails! I’m glad I have it, as I need it very often. It’s definitely a good thing to have in your kitchen and a great idea for a Christmas gift, too!

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Ratatouille. Step 2.

Prepare your vegetables. You will need one medium-sized eggplant and zucchini, 2 yellow bell peppers, 4-5 tomatoes and 3 onions. Try to pick up veggies with a similar diameter. Finely slice your vegetables in 2-3 mm (0.1 inch) rounds and arrange them in any order you like. I put a slice of eggplant, then zucchini, tomato, onion, bell pepper. Fill your form tightly with overlapping vegetables, arrange them in circles or rows, depending on the shape of your form. Make a try-out to estimate if it’s enough slices. If not, slice more. It’s hard to predict how many vegetables you need, as it depends on their size and on the size of your dish. If the difference between the sizes of your slices is too big (normally, the eggplant has the biggest diameter), you can cut rounds out of the large slices. Cut a section off the bell pepper rings to make them smaller and hide the cut-out pieces on the bottom.  After you are done determining the amount of veggies needed for your ratatouille, empty the dish again. It’s a bit annoying but this way you can make sure that you have enough of veggies beforehand, as the sauce goes to the bottom.

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Ratatouille. Step 3.

Roast. Preheat the oven. Pour the sauce in your baking dish and arrange the vegetable slices just like the first time. Sprinkle with the mixture of olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and thyme. Cover with aluminum foil and roast for at least 1 hour 30 min (up to 2 hours 30 minutes) on low temperature. Uncover and roast for 20-40 more minutes. The longer you roast it, the more rich is the taste and the thicker is the sauce. When you uncover the dish, the liquid from the veggies will evaporate and they will caramelize and acquire an extra rich flavor. You can eat it once it cools down a bit or make it ahead, freeze and enjoy it later. You can refrigerate it for up to a week. Just like Russian borsch, cabbage rolls,stuffed eggplants or vegan grain stew, ratatouille is getting better on the second day.

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It might seem like a lot of work but believe me, it’s worth every minute!  Check the full recipe below:

Vegan Gluten-Free Ratatouille
 
Author:
Recipe Type: Main
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 bell peppers yellow or red
  • olive oil
  • 2 onions
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 2 medium-sized carrots
  • 7-9 fresh tomatoes or 2 cans of tomatoes
  • 3-4 sprigs thyme
  • 2 leaves bay
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 medium-sized eggplant
  • For the ratatouille:
  • 1 medium-sized zucchini
  • 2 yellow bell peppers
  • 4-5 medium-sized tomatoes
  • 3 red onions
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Additionally:
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • salt
  • black pepper
Instructions
  1. Make the sauce: Preheat the oven to 180 ºC or 350 ºF. Cut 2 bell peppers in halves and discard the seeds. Put the halves on a baking tray with the outsides facing up and roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, chop and sauté onions and garlic in a skillet over medium-heat. Peel and grind carrots and add them to the skillet. Add diced tomatoes, two bay leaves and 3-4 sprigs of thyme. When bell peppers are done, peel of the skin with your fingers after cooling down, chop them and add to the sauce. Let the sauce cook for as long as possible, stirring occasionally (from 30 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes). When the sauce is ready, remove the herbs and blend it until smooth. Season with salt and black pepper.
  2. Prepare your vegetables: Finely slice them in 2-3 mm (0.1 inch) thick circles and arrange them in any order you like. I put a slice of eggplant, then zucchini, tomato, onion, bell pepper. Fill your form tightly with overlapping vegetables, arrange them in circles or rows, depending on the shape of your form. Make a try-out to estimate if it's enough slices. If not, slice more. It's hard to predict how many vegetables you need, as it depends on their size and on the size of your dish. If the difference between the sizes of your slices is too big (normally, the eggplant has the biggest diameter), you can cut rounds out of the large slices. Cut a section off the bell pepper rings to make them smaller and hide the cut-out pieces on the bottom. After you are done determining the amount of veggies needed for your ratatouille, empty the dish.
  3. Roast: Preheat the oven to 150 ºC or 300 ºF. Pour the sauce in your baking dish and arrange the vegetable slices just like the first time. Sprinkle with the mixture of olive oil, garlic, salt, black pepper and thyme leaves. Cover with aluminum foil and roast for at least 1 hour 30 min (up to 2 hours 30 minutes) on low temperature. Uncover and roast for 20-40 more minutes. The longer you roast it, the more rich is the taste and the thicker is the sauce. When you uncover the dish, the liquid from the veggies will evaporate and they will caramelize and acquire an extra rich flavor. You can eat it once it cools down a bit or make it ahead, freeze and enjoy it later. You can refrigerate it for up to a week. Just like Russian borsch , cabbage rolls , stuffed eggplants or vegan grain stew , ratatouille is getting better on the next day. Serve it with bread, rice, pasta or potatoes. Or just enjoy its unique taste by itself. Bon Appétit!

 

Elena Szeliga

Elena Szeliga is a blogger behind the food blog HappyKitchen.Rocks. She posts healthy vegetarian recipes that are easy to make. Her hope is to inspire you to cook delicious and healthy food, practical for everyday life.

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1 Comment
  1. Very Good Recipe I have all the ingredients in my fridge & pantry, thank you very much for sharing. I appreciate you & Bon Appetit :)

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