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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Ratatouille - Katrika Week # 2

Recipe attempted on 24th May 2011

I learnt to know of this dish’s existence through… the cartoon!!! It was very pretty to look Remy (the rat) slicing the vegetables, tossing them into the baking dish, having that baked and served. Although the original version is nothing like such, but more of a pot of vegetable stew, I’m definitely more interested in making the visually more attractive dish.

According to Chef Michael Smith , sautéing the aubergine and zucchini first will give much better flavour. Of course I won’t skip the step. If the chef tells you this step will give you better flavour, go ahead and do it. I always love the smell of fried aubergine and squashes, therefore I truly believe this super tedious step will give me definite satisfaction later.

Slicing the vege is a breeze to me. It’s the searing of the vegetables that almost killed me. Being at 39 weeks, with baby Reuben sitting so low in my tummy, standing so long to sear almost each slice of vege is no easy feat. (Reuben could pop out any minute!, but now he's 10M) I sliced them thin and each vege took at least 3 panfuls to finish searing. I did 11 pans of searing. Haha! But it’s all worth it. The aroma from the seared vege is just wonderful.

Recipe source: WendyinKK
Inspired by the animated movie, Ratatouille

1 aubergine (12 inches)
1 yellow squash (12 inches)
1 green zucchini (12 inches)
3 roma tomatoes
Olive oil for rubbing onto the vege

Preparation of vege:
Slice every vegetable into 2-3m thick. Put sliced aubergine, squash and zucchini into a big bowl. Pour some olive oil in and toss all the vegetables around. Heat a pan and sear the oiled vegetables.

Sauce ingredients
1 cup chopped onions
4 cloves garlic
1 cup chopped capsicum
400gm tomatoes, chopped
½ tsp ground oregano
Salt to taste
1 Tbsp sugar (more or less to balance the taste of the tomatoes)
Handful of basil
Olive oil for cooking

Cooking of sauce:
After searing the vege, with the same pan, on medium heat, put in some olive oil and sauté garlic and onion until golden and fragrant. Put in chopped capsicum and cook for 1 minute. Put in chopped tomatoes and cook until softened. Add in oregano, salt and sugar. Cook until everything softens and turns thick.

Preheat oven to 200 (fan)/220C
Put sauce onto base of baking pan. Put basil over sauce. Arrange the 4 vege in sequence over sauce.
Bake for 15 minutes.

We had this with some homemade buns. I truly loved this dish, but my tomato basil hating hubby tried very hard to eat a few slices of it. My MIL and BIL enjoyed this dish a lot. The sauce was good and the seared and baked vege was just yummilicious. That is if you love squashes and those sort of stuff. The dish didn’t turn watery as the early sautéing removed some of the moisture and I really cooked the sauce thick. The extra moisture from the dish only came from the roma tomatoes that weren’t seared. The dish is still moist but not soggy, with the top fragrant from the high temperature baking.

I am submitting this post to
Bake Fest by Vardhini hosted by Sumee


  1. What a colorful dish, Wendy. At one glance, I thought they are macaroons!lol. I've never eaten you are making me salivate. all the best with your delivery closing in. Take care.

  2. Hi Wendy, oh... so colorful and delicious. And your vege all the slices are so even and neat, 2 thumbs up for you.

    Haven't eaten this but yours sure look very tempting and appetizing.

    Have a nice day.

  3. Colorful, delicious! How long did it take you to line all those pieces together in those neat rows?! Great job!

  4. WOW! so colourfull!!! love it! 4 thumbs UP!

  5. Beautiful! I think I don't i have the patience to sear every slice !

  6. i have just watched again this cartoon few days ago...and your Ratatouille just like what the rat has done...Wonderful, Wendy!...:)

  7. Look so colourful & tempting to eat. Wonder how you can come out with billion ideals of cooking. Keep it up Wendy!

  8. I love love love that it do many times already! In the movie this dish is like perfect, homey and comforting....and yours is pretty much the replica of that!! Nice!

  9. pretty colours! Looks so inviting! :)

  10. Love how you arranged all the vegetables, colourful and pretty! This is my favourite movie too!

  11. What a colourful healthy dish! Lovely!

  12. Very colourful dish. I also learned this dish from watching this cartoon! The squash that we get here is in round shape, very different from Malaysia!

  13. Oh I would love to taste this dish!

    Your slicing tactic, OMG!! So perfectly done and each slice is so precise, just like machine-made.

    I slice horribly (*sulk at the corner*)

  14. Lovely dish, to the eyes and to the palate! :)

  15. This dish is so colourful! you sliced the veg so even!! Wendy, you are the Chef!

  16. Very impress! Healty and good looking dish!

  17. I am in awe! The colours are absolutely arresting!! Obviously healthy too. Will surely try it out.

  18. what a lovely dish! I love those movie too,become my favorite all time long.

  19. It's so pretty Wendy! I would really love to eat this...from your kitchen! Hahaha...

  20. pretty....the colour of the vege is so...nice....colourful...must try it...

  21. when you mentioned the movie 'ratatouille', the name kinda rings a bell. A very unusual arrangement, i mean they look very neat and 'organised' and very presentable looking!! i also cooked this few times but my way is opposite as what you did. i baked the veggies in oven and then cook the sauce and finally cook them together in the pan. yup, best with some rolls or crusty bread.

  22. Lovely looking & will impress anyone if serve during gathering. Never found the yellow squash in Miri...

  23. This is one pretty looking and very healthy meal indeed! It feels refreshing just by looking at it. Happy harvesting & cooking with your portulaca! I planted some stems too & hopefully they'll grow! *fingers crossed*

  24. Wendy, Your ratatouille look amazing! I can see "rainbow" when I clicked into your page and then I realize it is ratatouille!

  25. What's baking,
    Reuben already popped last June. I made this last May :D


    Not too hard, I collected sets of 4 and then stacked them, I love layering

    Scary, you have 4 thumbs??
    Thanks :0

    I think the difference will be obvious as searing partially caramelizes the sugar in the fruit vege and makes it ultra frgrant.

    Thanks.. It's been quite some time since I've last watched that

    Mary Chey,
    There are tonnes of new recipes out there.
    I'm now picking up on northern Chinese cuisine

    hahaha, thanks.
    I think theirs is baked in the ovalish/round dish, is it? haha..mine is rectangle


  26. Sonia,
    Me too, thanks

    It makes the day brighter :)

    I think there are many types of squashes.

    Sharpen ur knife a bit :)


    That's the beauty of this dish, colours

    Ah Tze,
    thanks, I love slicing things

  27. Vivian,
    very very healthy!

    it's good to eat food from all colour groups, make this and u're done with almost all the colours, except brown/black

    Mom's little one,
    It's really heart warming, right?

    Passionate Abt Baking,
    Haha, come come.

    Hody Loh,
    Please do.

    I think you must have been absolutely busy with ur kids that time when it was shown.
    As long as the vege are caramelized they will taste absolutely delcious.

    only in recent years did I've seen the yellow one.

    petite nyonya,
    I wish yours will grow big big fat fat so that you will have mroe recipes for the portulaca and I can learn :)

    I wish I can cook rainbows, Thanks!

  28. This is toooo pretty! Such wonderful colors!
    I never came across any ratatouille recipe online, so thanks opening up my eyes to one !
    Glad that this is healthy too! I will try this recipe soon just to make up for my days of not eating any vege! If I make this, it will be like the ultimate test of my cutting skills too!

  29. Hi Wendy,

    i have been following your blog (silently), and tried a few recipes adn they are really good!
    i must say you really have passion for food!
    While i love cooking, baking, etc... I will always try to use minimum effort to get the max 'wow' effort from my diners and ha.. I don't think I would go to such extra miles to prepare (not to say you were preggie)...
    Anyway, really love your blog!

  30. Wah, Wendy, you are really "geng", heavily pregnant and still can cook this amazing ratatouille.

  31. Hi Wendy, I made this today, it was super yum. I blogged about it too.

  32. All the freshness and colours...just make me happy!

  33. Freaking amazing.... this dish and the fact that you are just about to give birth. You have a great visual imagination and a hell of a stamina

  34. Hi hi,

    You have great knife skills there! And I imagine a good knife there too. :) You amaze me with all your cooking as a mother and a pregger too. God bless you with a smooth delivery and a healthy, happy baby boy :D

  35. This is very appealing visually! Love the colours :)

  36. So colorful Wendy! Can't believe you took so much time to arrange them and in such colorful combination! Good luck with the baby.. And thnx a bunches for linking them up

  37. I'm so happy to have found your blog! I was looking for brinjal and long bean recipe, and found yours which is something we used to have in Ipoh last time. I'm going to prepare the dish tomorrow, and this recipe soon!

  38. shoppingmum,
    You had this in Ipoh?? OMG!
    I didn't know this french dish exists there.
    I think zuchinni never existed in Ipoh, not until lately these few years and it's sooooo expensive, eateries won't use it to cook and sell.

  39. I never never ratatoille could be so gorgeous! Love it.

  40. Hi My daughter and I also make ratatouille style ratatouille. Just like you we layer the main ingredients alternately into a cassarole dish and bake them. For our sauce however we first char-roast a whole red capsicum, when it is cool enough to handle we peal the skin off and remove the seed we add this to caramelised onion and blend until smooth with single cream and vegetable stock. season to taste. It is devine!

  41. This is extremely similar to the recipe "Confit Byaldi" by Thomas Keller that I've been cooking for years. If you love it, check out that recipe. A tiny bit more difficult, but worth the trouble. I highly recommend using a mandolin. Makes the slicing so even and quick! I love using thyme instead of basil as well. Thanks for sharing!

  42. I will definitely try this over the weekend. I hope that I will have the patience to make it looks as shown in the pictures lol...I also wonder how it will taste if i add some ground beef between the sauce and the veggie...

  43. Beautiful photography and what a lovely seasonal dish. Just wanted to let you know I loved it so much I included it in my weekly round-up. This edition was for great gluten-free recipes. It’s here if you want to check it out:

    Lots of Love! LB

  44. Do you think this recipe will freeze good? I want to make it so badly but I am the only one in this house that will eat it and I don't want to waste food… Thanks! :)

  45. Shahrill,
    I am not sure as I never tried freezing vegetable dishes,

  46. I made this last night and I had a lot of issues with this recipe. I tried to find aubergine in my grocery stores but they didn't have it, so I bought eggplant instead since it looked like the same thing only a different size. After I pan seared my veggies, they were soft and stuck together making it impossible to set them up as perfectly as you did in the dish. The recipe says the sauce will thicken but mine did not. I sprinkled some feta cheese over the veggies then put them in the oven at 200 degrees, but that wasn't hot enough to melt the cheese. Even without cheese, 200 degrees doesn't really do anything. Why did you choose that temperature? This recipe was only good with the feta cheese. Without it, the dish would've been too bland. My husband wasn't really into it either. Next time I make ratatouille I will use a different recipe.

  47. Rachel,
    Thanks for trying out the recipe.
    1. Aubergine is same as eggplant.
    2. Sear in a single layer. Searing should always be done on a very hot pan, and it should create brown caramelised spots, of which will render good flavour to the final dish. The surface will not be wet when correctly seared. As you can see from my pictures, my slices of vegetables all look dry.
    3. Cook until it thickens, like how you see in the picture, the moisture from the tomatoes will dry up. Just like how you boil water longer than you should, it evaporates and dries up.
    4. 200F doesn't do anything, TRUE. Try 200C instead, or converted to Fahrenheit, it will be 400F. It's enough to roast a chicken. I use Celsius here on this blog.... 200C :)
    5. If the searing was done right, it will be great like how Chef Michael said. It's all in the power of heat.
    I wish you all the best in your recipe searching

  48. Great recipe! I really enjoyed the sauce and so did my mom. Unfortunately, I couldn't get the rest of my family to try it :(
    Oh well, they were really missing out. Besides, I wouldn't mind eating all the leftovers of this tasty dish myself! ;)

  49. Jennifer,
    Nvm, there's more for you to enjoy then :)


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