Classic ratatouille is either a stew or a layered veggie dish; here, we’re putting those veggies on top of a flaky pastry crust and a creamy layer of yogurt, then showering them with parmesan and fresh basil. This tart is beautiful, delicious, AND easy– but perhaps most importantly, it uses up vegetables that are growing like crazy in gardens right now!
The final dish works well hot or room temp as an appetizer, a brunch dish, or a lunch when served with salad greens (double bonus, using up lettuce from the garden!). I highly suggest that you use a mandoline or a food processor with a slicing blade, but you can always use a knife if you don’t have either of those… it will just take you a bit longer to prep your veggies.
You will need:
1 small eggplant
1 medium zucchini
1 medium yellow squash
2 medium tomatoes
1 medium yellow onion
1 sweet pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 sheet puff pastry
1 5-6oz. Greek yogurt or crème fraiche
small handful basil leaves
1 oz grated parmesan
Preheat your oven to 400F and set your puff pastry out to thaw.
Haul out your mandoline, being VERY careful around the blade. It is super sharp and will slice the heck out of anything that touches it, including your fingers. I use special cut resistant gloves while using my mandoline and HIGHLY recommend them, but you can just use your guard if you’re careful.
Adjust the mandoline to a 1/4″ slice and get to slicing!
First, slice your eggplant, zucchini, and yellow squash.
Salt these veggies with about a tablespoon of kosher salt (or 2 Tbsp Diamond kosher salt) and set them in a colander over a bowl. They need about 30 minutes to release their liquid.
Next, peel the onion and send it through the mandoline. De-stem and core the pepper, then slice it with the mandoline, as well. (I used baby peppers from the garden so I had to slice them by hand.)
Add a tablespoon of oil to a pan, turn it on to medium, and add your onion and peppers to the pan. Sauté the peppers and onions for about 3 minutes, until the onions are a little translucent, before salting them. Add just a sprinkle of salt to help the onions release their juices and adjust the heat to medium low.
While the onions cook, mince your garlic and set it aside, then slice your tomatoes. Mine were tiny and super squishy, so the first one turned to mush in the mandoline and I had to hand slice them, but if yours will go through the mandoline it’s a much easier option.
Give your onions and peppers another stir. You want them to start to caramelize, so make sure the heat is low, you’re stirring somewhat regularly, and nothing is scorching. You can add a bit of water if necessary to keep things low and slow.
Your puff pastry should be thawed enough to roll out at this point. Dust your counter with flour, then roll it into a rectangle about 16″x10″. Transfer it to a sheet pan. Make a slash in the pastry 1” in from the border all the way around the rectangle to make your crust, then prick the middle all over with a fork (doing this will help to make the border puff up while the center magically stays put). Put the pastry pan into your fridge while you finish up with the veggies.
Your onions and peppers are done when the onions are evenly light brown. Add your garlic cloves and cook for one minute more, then remove the pan from the heat and let it sit to the side.
Your eggplant and squash slices should have released enough liquid at this point. I had about 1/3 cup of liquid in my bowl. Flip the veggies from the colander onto paper towels, then squeeze them a bit to get all of the moisture out. Taste a zucchini slice: if it is overly salty, give the veggies a rinse in water and dry them again.
You’re ready to assemble your ratatouille!
Bring the pastry out of the fridge. Spread the creme fraiche or yogurt on the inside of the pastry, all the way to the slashed edge. Strew the onion and pepper mix evenly across the cream layer (I also added the tomato that was destroyed by my mandoline).
Next, layer on your veggies, alternating the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, and tomato in rows. You don’t have to be super crazy about the order of your veggies as long as you’re alternating colors (unless you need order more than I do, then by all means, have at it!).
Once the tart is covered, pop it in the oven. You may have a few sliced veggies leftover– that’s OK.
Set a timer for 20 minutes.
Grate your parmesan and slice the basil into thin strips.
When the timer beeps, your tart is ready! It should be golden on the edges; if it is too pale, it may need a few more minutes.
Top the tart with the parmesan and basil, then slice it (with a knife! A pizza cutter kind of makes a mess of it). Enjoy!