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Cooking6/7/16
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Ratatouille Tian

A crunchy, tangy take on the classic French dish

Traditional chunky, saucy, cook-forever ratatouille has its well-deserved place atop pasta, rice, crusty bread . . . the list goes on and on. But if you're looking for an impressive presentation of those classic summer flavors, a spiraled, roasted ratatouille tian is the move to make.

This classy summer vegetable casserole layers thinly sliced summer squash and tomatoes over jammy red onions that have been laced with a hit of vinegar. During the last few minutes of baking, we sprinkle the top with panko and Gruyère cheese. Once cooked, each bite is delightfully crisp from the topping but also soft from the slackened summer vegetables. The onions impart an addicting tang that will make this seasonal dish disappear.

Preheat the oven to 425°.

Drizzle 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom of an 8-inch cast-iron pan over medium heat. Add 1 halved and thinly sliced red onion to the pan. Sprinkle with kosher salt to taste. Cook until soft and translucent, about 7 minutes. Add 1 clove of minced garlic and stir into the onions. Continue to cook until the onions are very soft and slightly caramelized, about 5 minutes more. Add 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, stir to combine and then remove the pan from the heat.

Spread the onions evenly on bottom of the same pan. Starting on the outside, carefully begin alternately layering thin slices of 1 green zucchini, 1 yellow squash and 2 to 3 Roma tomatoes on top of the onions in a spiral. Drizzle the vegetable spiral with olive oil, then sprinkle with kosher salt to taste.

Roast in the oven for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.

While the tian is roasting, in a small bowl, mix 1 cup of panko bread crumbs, ½ cup of finely shredded Gruyère cheese, 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

After 20 minutes, remove the tian from the oven and sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture on top of the vegetables. Return the pan to the oven for another 10 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crispy.

Get more ratatouille-inspired recipes:
• Grilled Ratatouille Casserole
• Ratatouille with Chickpeas and Fresh Corn
• Greek-Inspired Ratatouille with Feta