No you read the title right: this post is a recipe for ratatouille crumble. And I can assure this dish is delicious. Although it pairs really well with some grilled meat, it makes a perfect vegetarian meal on its own as well and everyone I know who’s tried it absolutely loved it, even those less fond of vegetables. And understandably so as I think anything tastes delicious topped with flour, butter and parmesan cheese.
Ratatouille, despite the all famous Pixar movie, isn’t a popular dish, especially among children. I remember moaning whenever I was told that’s what we’d be eating for lunch or dinner. However, growing up and learning how to cook has not only helped my palate evolve, it’s also made me realise the reason I didn’t like a lot of things growing up was because they weren’t cooked properly (I see you dry overcooked fish), and this has been the case of ratatouille. Nowadays I still struggle with watery, bland and undercooked ratatouille so why assume a child would gullibly eat it?
Today I’m sharing the secret behind this delicious ratatouille (crumble aside): peel everything. Peel the courgette, peel the aubergine, peel the tomatoes. Why? The vegetables will literally melt in your mouth. The smoothness resulting from all the peeling will contrast beautifully with the crumble topping, making this dish come together perfectly. I also recommend not over stirring to avoid breaking down the vegetables. (Also: making sure to season gradually is crucial to maximise the flavour)
So let’s get right into it: this recipe will serve 5 people but a trick is to make the ratatouille and crumble mix separately, keep them in the fridge or the freezer and assemble whenever you fancy this hearty meal or have last minute guests over.
Ingredients for the ratatouille:
-2-3 cloves of garlic
-1 large aubergine (peeled)
-3 red peppers (bell peppers)
-3 courgettes (peeled)
-5 tomatoes (peeled)
-salt and pepper
Make the ratatouille:
- Dice the onion and throw with a tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan over a low-medium heat. Season with a pinch of salt.
- Dice the peeled aubergine (2-3 cm cubes) and add to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and stir gently.
- Mince the garlic and add to the pan.
- Remove the core from the peppers and dice them (2 cm cubes) and add to the pan. Season again
- Slice the peeled courgettes (1cm thick slices) and add to the pan. Season.
- Dice the peeled tomatoes (to peel the tomatoes, score their bottoms with a knife and pour some boiling water over them in a large mixing bowl. Let sit for about 2 minutes, then drain and rinse under cold water. The skin should come right off easily). Add them to the pan alongside a large tablespoon of tomato puree. Season. Stir gently.
- Pluck the leaves off about 6 or 7 thyme springs and add them to the pan.
- At this point the vegetables should have started releasing water making it unnecessary to add extra water. Lower the heat and cover the pan. Leave to cook for at least 1 hour, stirring once in a while or until most of the juices have reduced.
- Once finished, leave to cool completely before transferring to the baking dish to make the crumble, or keeping in the fridge for later.
Ingredients for the crumble:
-130g unsalted butter, cold, diced.
-80g grated parmesan cheese
-salt and pepper
-handful of pine nuts (to top at the end)
To make the crumble:
- This is going to sound very controversial, but I like to use a food processor to make life easier. So throw all the ingredients except the pine nuts in the food processor and pulse a few times or until you have a crumble texture with small and medium pieces of butter remaining.
- Chill in te fridge until you want to bake the crumble.
- Preheat your oven at 200C.
- In a medium-large size baking dish, place the ratatouille and spread evenly. Add the crumble on top. You should have a very thick layer of crumble to seal the juices below but if you have too much crumble topping you can always store in a jar in the fridge or a freezer bag in the freezer.
- Bake the crumble for 30min or until the top is golden.
- 3 minutes before the end, sprinkle the pine nuts on top and let them toast (keep an eye on them as pine nuts burn fast!)
- Take out of the oven for 5-10min before serving.
I hope you try this recipe! If you do let me know what you think by commenting below or on my instragram (@thecroissantpostcards). And who knows, this dish might become a staple in your household !