Sunday, September 11, 2022

Ratatouille and Sausage Bake

The best of late summer and early fall vegetables - eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and sweet bell pepper - tossed with an olive oil, vinegar and herb-based dressing, diced tomatoes, garlic, chunks of red onion and sliced smoked sausage, then baked.


Ratatouille and Sausage Bake


I can't even begin to tell you how much I love a vegetable dish like this. The Cajun?

Not so much.

So, when I cook something like this it's all for me!

While I do enjoy cooking for my husband, he is mostly a meat and potatoes man while I'm a veggie lover and there are lots of dishes he's just not interested in, especially vegetables. I love them though, so I treat myself the same way I treat him. I cook things that I love, just for me.

Like this ratatouille!
By the way.... I'm interrupting the post here to remind you that this is a blog, not just a recipe site. If you aren't interested in the chit chat, info, tips and such in a post, as always, full recipe text with measurements and instructions, as well as a printable document, are a little bit further down the page. Just swipe or scroll down to the bottom of the page!
While this is considered a ratatouille, it's a little hard to discern what exactly a "ratatouille" dish is supposed to consist of. It's often just a mixed stew of late summer and early fall vegetables and while it's usually eggplant, zucchini, peppers and yellow squash, maybe some onion and garlic, there don't actually appear to be any set "rules."

Most often it's simmered on the stovetop to an almost stew like consistency, though it can also be based on grilled vegetables or, like here, baked. I baked this in the countertop oven I purchased when my regular range went out and I was waiting on a repair, and you know what?

I don't think I've even turned on my big range oven all summer! The countertop oven is just so much more convenient and though not as accurate as a full-sized oven, I'm learning how to adapt to that, and it's been working out just fine.

Y'all... I swear. I'm using my big oven to store my heavy cast iron and other pots and pans right now! 

This Ratatouille and Sausage Bake was inspired by one I found in The Perfect Portion Cookbook. Here's how to make it!

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Get all your veggies prepped and sausage sliced. I'm using eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and sweet bell pepper, along with red onion. For sausage, I went with a classic andouille, but if you prefer not to have the heat, substitute a milder smoked, including turkey, chicken or kielbasa. Or no sausage at all! Note that since I'm married to a non-veggie eater who has zero interest in any of these veggies pictured, I'm making a half recipe for myself.


Place all ingredients in a large bowl. I also added one well drained can of mild Rotel, though you can certainly use regular diced tomatoes, or use one medium to large tomato, peeled, seeded and diced instead.


Mix together the olive oil, garlic, vinegar, salt, pepper, a tiny bit of sugar and mixed fresh or dried herbs. I'm using dried because they're convenient and I always have them!


Suggested herbs: Use a blend like Italian seasoning, Herbes de Provence or Bragg's sprinkles, or your choice of individual herbs like parsley, basil, oregano or thyme. Whatever you like! I'm using Bragg's sprinkles. I'm using dried herbs, but if you've got fresh, use them!


Toss together the vegetables and sausage.


Add the dressing.


Toss again to coat everything well.


Transfer to a half sheet pan (18 x 13-inch) or other similar sized rimmed baking pan and spread out evenly.


Bake, uncovered, for about an hour, stirring a few times.


Serve immediately as a vegetable side dish, as a main dish over hot, steamed rice, or because it tastes even better the next day, let cool and refrigerate, if desired, reheating before serving. Also great in a wrap, in a calzone, in a veggie quesadilla, or stuffed in an omelet.




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