Ratatouille with Couscous and Brussels Sprouts

I made this for dinner last night.  While I was cooking it, the kids kept asking, “Hey Mom, what’s for dinner? Hey Mom, what’s for dinner?  Hey Mom, what’s for dinner?”  This is very normal.  I get asked that question multiple times every night, and sometimes I answer.  Other times I just ignore them.  But anyway, they ask over and over again because they are genetically wired to not listen to me.  Like most children, they have a recessive don’t-listen-to-mom gene embedded in their DNA.  And like most mothers, I have a I-will-ignore-you-if-you-ask-me-26-times gene in my own DNA.  Besides, if I would’ve said, “Lovemuffins, we’re having ratatouille, couscous, and Brussels sprouts,” they would’ve just given me a blank stare before finally exclaiming, “You’re cooking our movie?!”

Anyway.

Here’s what-all you need:

For the ratatouille:
Olive oil
Garlic, minced
Eggplant, chopped
Parsley
Zucchini, chopped
Onion, thinly sliced
Tomatoes, chopped
Celery, chopped
Parmesan cheese, grated
(Note: The original recipe that I was using did not use celery, and it did call for bell peppers and mushrooms.  I didn’t have these, but I did have the celery so it got added to the mix.  This seems very versatile, so you can use whatever vegetables you have on hand.)

For the Brussels sprouts:
Brussels sprouts, fresh or frozen
Garlic, minced
Olive oil
Butter
Vegetable broth
Salt and pepper

For the couscous:
Couscous
Water
Butter

Once you’ve gathered up all your shiz, preheat the oven to 350 and spray a casserole dish with Pam.  And why is this called Pam anyway?  Who decided to call sprayable oil by a woman’s name?  It’s just weird.  But whatever.  In a large skillet, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil and saute the garlic and eggplant for about 10 minutes.

While that is cooking, chop the remaining vegetables.  I realize the following picture is unnecessary and anyone reading this knows what chopped vegetables look like, but I delight in the unnecessary.  I also think that freshly chopped vegetables in neat and tidy rows looks really pretty, and it appeals to my aesthetic sensibilities.

After the eggplant mixture is done cooking, spread it in a single layer in the casserole dish, then top with a layer of the Parmesan, then the zucchini, then the cheese, then onion and celery, then cheese, then the tomato, then the cheese.  I really love cheese, fyi.  Oh, and add salt and pepper as you see fit.  Here’s what it’ll look like when you’re done:

Now, what’s wrong with this picture?  Can you see it?  Yes!  There is a crucial ingredient missing on one half of this dish, and that’s because Trent has gone mental and is now a vegan.  Thanksgiving is going to SUCK for him.

Okay, so stick this baby in the oven for about 40 minutes.  While it’s going, turn your attention to the Brussels sprouts.  If you’re using fresh ones, re-slice the core ends, then cut an X into each one.  I have no idea why this needs to be done, but do it.  After all the sprouts have been x’ed, put them aside.  Heat about a tablespoon each of olive oil and butter in a saucepan, then add the garlic and cook until browned.  Toss in the Brussels sprouts, stirring to coat them.  Add 1/2 cup of vegetable broth, salt, and pepper, and put a lid on and cook them for about 12 minutes or until tender.

Okay, so couscous only takes a few minutes to cook, so save this for the end.  I have no picture of the couscous, but all you do is bring water and butter to a boil, then add the couscous, put a lid on it, and remove it from heat.  It’ll be ready in five.  So. Freaking. Easy.

This actually tasted really good, even though it doesn’t look great in the picture.  I don’t think it does, anyway, but I swear it was good.  Two out of three children approved, my dad (who’s with us for Thanksgiving) really liked it, and Trent gave it an affirmative grunt.

Success.

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1 comment so far

  1. frugalfeeding on

    What an inventive and delicious sounding recipe for ratatouille!


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