Updated: Mar 19, 2020
Inspiration can come in many different shapes and forms. I will confess my ignorance, prior to 2007 when Disney Pixar released an adorable show highlighting a young man who received culinary skills from the help of an adorable rat in Ratatouille, I had no idea what Ratatouille was!
Then I started seeing a few folks posting their own creations on Instagram.
A few weeks later, we were having a movie night with the kids and decided to watch this classic and my seven-year-old K said, “Dad, I bet you could make that.”
Never one to back away from a challenge, I decided to try it out! Not only that, I decided I would put my own spin on this beautiful, eye-catching dish.
I wanted to make it on the smoker.
Here’s how you do it:
8 roma tomatoes
2 yellow squash
2 medium eggplants
Ingredients for the sauce:
1 diced yellow onion
1 diced red bell pepper
1 diced yellow or orange bell pepper
28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
10 leaves fresh chopped basil
10 leaves chopped basil
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
2 cloves minced garlic
Pinch of salt
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
Cook time: 60 minutes
Fire up Smoker to 375 degrees (I used my Yoder Smokers YS640)
Make the sauce first: put a few tablespoons of olive oil in a 12″ cast iron (I use Stargazer Cast Iron). Saute onions, bell peppers, and garlic until soft. Usually 5-6 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste, and basil. Remove from heat and set aside.
Slice the veggies! I use a mandoline on the 3mm setting for slicing the squash and eggplants and a knife for the tomatoes. Slice eggplants, zucchini, and yellow squash at 3mm and set aside. Arrange the veggies in a pattern and place them in the sauce we made in the cast iron. It is easiest to start on the outer edge of the cast iron and work your way towards the center.
Before covering with foil and placing in the smoker, I mix basil, parsley, thyme, garlic, olive oil, and a pinch of salt in a food processor and mix until smooth. Spread this over the dish.
Cover with foil and place on the smoker for 40 minutes at 375 degrees. At 40 minutes, remove foil and allow to finish on the smoker for 20 more minutes to absorb the delicious smoke flavor.
Voila!! This dish is a family favorite now! It can stand on its own as the star of the show or can pair with any dinner you want! Be it beef, poultry, pork, or fish - it goes well with anything.
I would LOVE to see you make it!
Make sure to tag me in your creation and share the recipe!