Saturday, June 28, 2014

Andouille Ratatouille Bake -- Low Carb & Garden Fresh

Today I was busy working on cleaning up the kitchen and starting the process of putting stuff back in our empty kitchen cabinets and trying to organize it better after getting our new counters installed. Hubby was gone all day to a meeting out of town and didn't get home until 7:30. I wanted to make something for dinner that used all of the garden fresh produce we had...I still had a huge bowl of assorted tomatoes he brought home from work the other day as well as additional tomatoes I picked from our own plants. I picked our first 2 ichiban eggplants (long thin eggplant similar in size and shape to a zucchini). Tonight's meal was one of those meals I just put together as I went. I didn't have a recipe or a plan. Our meal evolved into Andouille Ratatouille Bake. You know...where cajun meets Italian. LOL 

I sauteed half of a diced medium onion in a bit of olive oil until it began softening. Then, I tossed in a couple of minced cloves of garlic and the 2 ichiban eggplant that I halved and sliced. I salted it, and covered to saute until the eggplant began softening (I had to add a bit more olive oil since eggplant soaks it up like a sponge). To add some additional liquid to the eggplant, garlic and onion mixture, I diced a couple medium tomatoes and added them to the pan, covered and cooked until almost tender. While they were cooking, I sliced 2 medium zucchini and 4 small yellow summer squash and added them to the pot to cook until almost tender. I added thinly sliced chicken andouille sausages (by Amylu) to the veggie mixture. 

While the rest of the veggies were cooking, I quartered and cut up a big bowl of red, yellow, orange and purple tomatoes. When the eggplant, zucchini and squash mixture was tender, I added the cut up fresh ripe tomatoes (about 5 cups). I just heated them until hot and then turned off the heat. I stirred in 1/2 cup of finely grated Parmesan cheese (the powdery style) to help thicken up the juices a bit. I layered half of the ratatouille in the bottom of a baking dish; topped with about 1/4 cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano, 1 cup shredded mozzarella, a 15-ounce container of whole milk ricotta cheese and then topped with 4 large torn leaves of fresh basil. I layered on the remaining half of the ratatouille and then topped with 1 more cup of shredded mozzarella cheese and about 1/3 cup of finely grated Parmesan. I popped it into a 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes and then ran it under the broiler for about 3 to 4 minutes until browned and bubbly. I topped it with freshly chopped Italian parsley when it came out of the oven. It was unbelievably good and one of those dishes that just sort of evolved as I went favorite kind! It was a cross between ratatouille with a cajun twist, but layered with cheeses much like lasagna. We really enjoyed it and have plenty of leftovers. It used up most of our bounty of fresh tomatoes, my first 2 eggplants, as well as fresh basil and parsley from my little garden. I snapped a few photos for you to see below. Enjoy!



Janine said...

I made this tonight-it was delicious! I used Italian chicken sausage instead of Andouille.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Janine,

So glad you liked it! I would have used Italian sausage too if I had it in the fridge -- it's probably a better complement to the ratatouille than andouille. So glad you enjoyed it - it's a great way to use fresh summer produce, isnt it! :-)