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This classic ratatouille looks fancy but is easy enough for kids to help make


If you think tackling fancy French food with your children sounds like a recipe for disaster, think again. Chef Mardi Michels proves just how easy it is to get your children involved in the kitchen with her new cookbook, In the French Kitchen with Kids.

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Ratatouille Tian
Serves 2

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 65-75 minutes

You may not know what a tian is, but if you’ve seen the movie Ratatouille, you’ll be familiar with a version of this presentation of vegetables sliced thinly, cooked and served in an elegant stack. The dish you see in the movie was created by Chef Thomas Keller (of The French Laundry, among other restaurants), who was a consultant for the movie. My version of those stacked vegetables is a little easier for younger or novice cooks to assemble, but once you’ve mastered it, you’re well on your way to creating restaurant-worthy ratatouille. It’s important to choose vegetables that have a similar diameter so they stack evenly in the baking dish.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp flaky sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning
  • 2 baby or 1 small eggplant, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 3 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced in rounds
  • 1/2 tsp dried Herbes de Provence
  • Olive oil, for drizzling 
  • Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning 

 

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 ̊F
  2. Place the onion slices and minced garlic in the bottom of a 5-x 7-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper. 
  3. Stack the eggplant slices upright against the long side of the dish so they are slightly overlapping each other. They should be quite tightly packed. Follow with a row of zucchini slices, arranged in the same manner. Next, make a row of tomato slices.
  4. Continue in this manner until you have no more vegetable slides left. You should have enough vegetables slices and room to make at least two rows of each vegetable.
  5. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the vegetables, sprinkle with the Herbes de Provence, cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.
  6. Remove the foil from the dish, drizzle with a little more olive oil and bake, uncovered, for a further 20 to 30 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked through.
  7. Season to taste. Serve warm or at room temperate. 

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