Ratatouille + Wine Pairing
Ratatouille is, as we all know, a phenomenal animated movie. The movie is of course named after this French stewed vegetable dish (is there a nastier sounding word for food preparation than “stewed”? doubt it.), which can be made a billion different ways. If you google search “ratatouille” you’ll see a bunch of different looking dishes (and some animated rats sprinkled in the mix- hilarious), but in the end they are all Ratatouille.
I made my Ratatouille in what I think is the more aesthetically pleasing way- with thin sliced, visibly layered veggies. Alternating slices of eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, red potato, and bell peppers make for an intricate looking but easy to make dish. Underneath the veggie pattern, there’s a thick layer of tomato sauce, a swirl of Béchamel, garlic, and fresh thyme. Yeah, it’s good. This dish can be served with pasta, rice, polenta, baguette, by itself- any way you’d like!
Since Ratatouille comes from Provence, France, it’s only right to pair it with a Provençal Rosé. If it grows together, it goes together. This Rosé is light and crisp with a floral aroma and a subtle strawberry flavor. The acidity of the wine plays nicely with the tomato sauce and each sip gets better with this meal (like a good pairing should). I feel like this wine would go equally as well with something on the sweeter side and even something slightly richer and creamier.
The Rosé I chose is D’Orsay 2016 (Côtes de Provence, France). Côtes de Provence covers about 50,000 acres of vineyards in France, which produce the majority of Provence’s Rosé. I found this wine at my local grocery store and recommend you try it, too. You can certainly use another Rosé that you like or can find locally.
If you try this recipe, let me know! If you pair yours with a different wine, let me know how it goes! Leave a comment below, or share a picture on instagram with #datkindlife . Stay kind, bbs!
Prep Time: 20 mins Cook Time: 1 hr Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins
· 2-3 red potatoes, thinly sliced
· 1 Eggplant, thinly sliced
· 1 Yellow squash, thinly sliced
· 1 Zucchini, thinly sliced
· 1 Red bell pepper, thinly sliced
· 1-2 cup Tomato sauce
· 3 cloves garlic, minced
· ½ teaspoon chili flakes
· 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
· 2 tablespoons olive oil
· Salt and pepper, to taste
· 1 ½ tablespoon vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
· 1 tablespoon All-purpose flour
· 1 cup unsweetened Almond or Soy milk
· 1 pinch nutmeg
· salt, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Bring two cups of salted water to a boil. Drop sliced potatoes into boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Drain par-boiled potatoes on a paper towel and set aside. While the potatoes cool, slice the remaining veggies on a mandolin (or just thinly slice them all as evenly as you can with a sharp knife).
2. For the Béchamel, heat your milk in a small saucepan (or just microwave it) until it’s hot, not boiling. Set aside. Heat your vegan butter in a separate saucepan over medium heat and add in the flour once melted. Stir flour and butter together constantly for about 1 and a half to 2 minutes, until the raw flour taste is gone. You don’t want the mixture to go brown for this recipe, so be careful not to overcook the flour. Add the hot milk ¼ cup at a time, stirring constantly to avoid clumps. Once all the milk has been added, continue to cook the sauce over medium heat until it thickens to coat the back of a spoon. Season with salt and nutmeg and set aside.
3. Rub inside of baking dish with oil. Spread a heavy layer of tomato sauce, garlic, chili flakes, fresh thyme, salt and olive oil into the dish. Pour the béchamel sauce on top, lightly swirling it into the tomato sauce with a spoon.
4. Layer your sliced veggies on top of the sauce in a pretty pattern, or just flat if you’re feeling lazy. Drizzle top with olive oil, salt and pepper. Cover with parchment paper and bake for 1 hour, or until all veggies are tender.
5. Let cool for a few minutes when you take it out of the oven. Serve with pasta, rice, quinoa, crusty bread, or just eat it straight from the dish like a rat.