Roasted Ratatouille with Cheese and if you wish, eggs and/or meat
Lots of options here and all quite healthy
- 1 small eggplant cut into 1/2 inch pieces. I left the skin on but if you wish, you can peel it. Also I salted it in a colander and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. After I rinsed it.
- 1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 small zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 or 5 large mushrooms, sliced.
- 1-2 Tblsp. olive oil
- 1/4 Tsp. (or more if you wish a more exotic taste) of each of the following: cinnamon & nutmeg and S&P to taste
- 1-28 oz. canned chopped tomatoes with juice or whole can tomatoes (w/juice) that you’ve chopped
- 2-3 Tblsp. torn fresh basil leaves
- 1 Tblsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
- Half lb. lamb shoulder which you have ground (minus the bone of course) in your food processor. This I found is the most economical way of getting ground lamb. However, the butcher may have some as well for the same price and/or he also can grind up the shoulder meat for you. If you wish you can have even have up to 1 lb. or none at all if you want to be vegetarian. You can also substitute ground turkey, chicken or beef but lamb is delicious and more traditional. (optional)
- Mozarella, part skim, 4-6 ounces, thinly sliced and cut into 1/4 –inch strips
- 4 eggs (optional)
- Crusty French Bread with which to serve it or something else similar
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- In a 9 X 14 inch Pyrex or other oven proof dish place ingredients 1 through 5 and drizzle with the olive oil. Roast until golden brown and tender. (about 45 minutes) About half way through, I stirred the veggies well. In fact, you can stir even more times if you wish.
- Brown the optional lamb, etc. in a bit of olive oil in a skillet stove top. Set aside.
- When the veggies are roasted, take your dish out and stir in the seasonings in # 7, the tomatoes and their juices in # 8, the basil leaves in #9 and the parsley in #10 and the optional ground meat in #11.
- Bake in the 400 F oven with a foil covering for 20 to 30 minutes till hot and bubbling.
- Now’s the time to top with the cheese and bake without the foil for another 10 minutes—or at least till the cheese is melted. I actually turned on the broiler for several minutes to get it browned.
- Alternative method of serving: If you didn’t add the meat and maybe want to add eggs to this dish, then before you add the cheese, make four indentations in your veggies, break in an egg and layer the cheese over all. Bake uncovered until the eggs are set and the cheese is melted—8-10 minutes.
- Another alternative for this dish: If you did use the meat and you’ve layered the cheese, and cooked it that way but still want an egg on top—fry the egg in a separate pan and when you serve the Ratatouille, place the egg on top. Plenty of protein here and it really is good. Remember, you can serve the left over Ratatouille (if you have any) for breakfast topped with an egg.