Monday, September 12, 2011

Grilled Ratatouille Boats

I saw this recipe for Grilled Ratatouille Boats in the Rachael Ray mag and was intrigued. I had never cooked eggplant before and wasn't quite sure what was in  Ratatouille.  Anyway. I have seen pics on the web, and  I also knew that it was Disney's Chef rodent.  I can"t even say the "R" word on a food blog. 

Ratatouille, don't you just love to say the word, Rat-a too-ee?  Or I might have to ask Jill Colona -Le Blog for help.  (I still remember my 4 yrs. of French from high school though. Amazing, since I can't remember where my keys are.)  I "googled" Ratatouille and it is a vegetable stew originating in Provence, France. It is comprised of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, onions, garlic, and zucchini, all of which are stewed together (perhaps after an initial sauté to better develop their flavors) until the mixture is very soft and the flavors have blended together I didn't put peppers in mine.. It is often flavored with a hint of bay leaf and thyme. I used basil.  It is most often eaten hot, but is also delicious served cold on a hot day.

*Before you start cooking the globe eggplant, you need to salt it to remove the bitterness.  If you are using a narrow Japanese eggplant, you do not need to salt.  That's per SP Cookie Queen , Thanks, Gina. I had a globe eggplant, so I had to salt. it.  First, peel your eggplant, and cube it or slice, according to your recipe. Then you  generously salt your eggplant and place in a colander for about one hour.  Salting helps pull out juices that carry bitter flavors, and it collapses the air pockets in the eggplant's sponge-like flesh, thus preventing it from absorbing too much oil and getting greasy.  Rinse the eggplant in plenty of water to remove the salt, firmly squeeze a few pieces at a time in the palm of your hand to draw out almost all the moisture, and then pat the eggplant dry with paper towels. Thorough drying is important; squeezing out excess moisture will give you a less greasy result, and a silky texture.

These Ratatouille Boats make a great side dish. lunch  or light dinner with all the wonderful flavors of the zucchini, eggplant, tomato, garlic and basil topped with cheese. Voilà! Enjoy! Parlez-vous français?

Now your ready to start Grilled Ratatouille Boats.

Grilled Ratatouille Boats Adapted  from Katie Barreira, Every Day with Rachael Ray
  • 2 zucchini, halved lengthwise**
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 eggplant, cubed, and salted *
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
Make zucchini boats in a flash by scooping out the seeds and a bit of flesh from the center for a hollowed-out shell that can be stuffed and grilled or baked in the oven.

1.      Scoop balls of flesh from the center of the zucchini to create boats (see tip for help); reserve the flesh balls. Preheat a grill to medium-high.
2.      Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil, the eggplant and zucchini balls; cover and cook for 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, until the mixture is thick, about 5 minutes. Stir in the basil; season with salt and pepper.
3.      Fill the zucchini shells with the ratatouille, sprinkle with the cheese and grill, covered, over medium-high until the cheese is melted and the shells are slightly softened.


  1. I used to hate ratatouille growing up and my mom made it a LOT. Now that my tastes have changed, I love the stuff. I especially like the fact that zucchini plays the star in this one, as well as the fact that it's grilled.

    You have phonetically pronounced the word correctly. I may not live in France, but I was born there and raised by French parents. You done good. :)

  2. Christiane-Thank you for your sweet comments. I even put the French accent marks:)

  3. You don't even want to know how bad my French is, he he. I love that cartoon the kids forced me to wath it. I'm so glad I'm not the only one with bladder issues, lol. I have two eggplant sitting on my counter that I can see ending up this way. Hope you have a great week my friend.

  4. Gina- If you're an eggplant, Ratatouille is the way to go! Scott and I are making your marinara sauce today. Will keep you posted.

  5. What a great idea! Can I say Yum!?!? This looks so tempting...especially since it is growing close to my afternoon snack time. I hope you are having a great start to your week, sweet friend. Hugs and love from the great state of Texas!

  6. Monet,
    This would make a healthy snack for you with all the veggies. I hope that you try it sometime;)

  7. I love this idea Becky, of course sounds very tasty, and the whole serving look like a fun to present to guests too! Thanks for sharing!

  8. You don't need me for the French, Becky. That's one of the first words my kids and husband tried to correct me on and your accent sounds great from here! What a lovely, colourful and healthy dish.

  9. Mmmmmm, this looks like a fabulous side dish. Maybe with your recipe I can convert Bill to an eggplant fan? I can only hope! I know I'd love this one :)

  10. Sandra-Ratatouille is very good, and I had never eaten it. It's fun to eat food out of "boats."

    Jill-Merci beaucoup! Enjoy the Ratatouille!

  11. Lizzy- Eggplant doesn't have a real distinct taste of its own. It takes on the flavors it is cooked with, tomatoes onions, garlic, and basil.
    Good Luck with that Hubby and eggplant.

  12. Becky-I remember making zucchini boats in the seventies and eighties, but not with healthy veggies stuffed with, but with ground meat, and cheddar, or tons of mozzarella cheese. Your version is so much lighter, and tastier.
    Thanks for sharing:DDD

  13. Elisabeth-Now, it's always about being more healthy! This is a healthy side dish, with all the veggies.

  14. Tiffany- It's fun to eat food out of boats:)


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