This is a ratatouille like no other. The process of roasting the vegetables before combining them in the tomato sauce creates flavours you just can't get from cooking them in the pan. Roasting the vegetables causes caramelisation and Maillard reaction* processes to create beautiful, sweet, rich, and slightly nutty flavours. The texture is awesome too - because the vegetables lose some moisture during roasting, they hold their shape and take on a naturally sweet, sticky consistency. So this vegan ratatouille takes a little more prep, but it's totally worth it for the flavour. Plus, this recipe makes a big batch that serves at least six, so you can freeze several portions and it'll save you time in the long run. It goes perfectly in a baked potato, as a side dish, or just mopped up with some fresh toasted bread like I did!
*Maillard reactions are the hundreds of complex chemical reactions that happen when proteins and sugars in our foods are transformed by heat, resulting in new delicious, complex, flavour and aroma molecules.
Vegan roasted vegetable ratatouille recipe
Ingredients (makes 6 portions):
3 courgettes (zucchinis), sliced
2 aubergines (eggplants), diced
2 red onions, sliced
3 bell peppers, sliced
8 tomatoes, halved
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp olive oil or rapeseed oil
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 Tbsp tomato puree
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Large handful fresh basil
Preheat your oven to 180C (350F).
Toss the courgettes, aubergines, onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes with the olive / rapeseed oil, and roast in the oven until browned. You can combine the vegetables but keep the courgettes separate as they tend to take longer to brown, and keep the tomatoes cut side up so their juices don't spill out onto the baking tray. Try not to overcrowd the baking trays so that moisture can escape the vegetables and they can brown up nicely.
Once all the vegetables are sticky and roasted, combine them all in a pan and stir through. The tomatoes will release their sweet juices to create a sauce. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, balsamic vinegar, and the salt and pepper. Simmer gently for 15 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse, being careful not to over-stir so the vegetables don't break up too much.
Then just before serving, mix through the fresh basil. Enjoy!
Nutrition (per serving of ratatouille with 2 slices of bread):
Protein: 14.2g (Women: 28.4% / Men: 25.8%)
Iron: 4.0mg (Women: 27.0% / Men: 46.0%)
Calories: 345 (Women: 17.3% / Men: 13.8%)
Sugars: 19.4g (Women: 21.6% / Men: 16.2%)
Total Fats: 9.3g (Women: 13.3% / Men: 9.8%)
Saturated Fat: 1.4g (Women: 7.0% / Men: 4.7%)
Salt: 0.9g (Women: 15.0% / Men: 15.0%)
Fibre: 13.5g (Women: 45.0% / Men: 45.0%)
See the Nutrition Info page for more details on % of Dietary Reference Values for men and women.