Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Ratatouille Pie - Also known as Eat Your Veggies

We don't eat enough veggies at my house. I lament that everytime I walk down the produce aisle and leave those greens languishing under the cool mist. Anything green is a hard sell to the boys in this house and unless it comes in the shape of pizza pie, it just "isn't my favorite" as NR says. Well, ratatouille pie was born to bring more greeny goodness into our digestive tracts.

As a fan of the movie and french food in general, I thought it might be fun to try making a traditional ratatouille. After reading several recipes and seeing the time that it takes to make one, I changed my mind. Someday maybe, but today I didn't have the chops to tackle an all-day meal.

I also knew that an all-veg meal would never fly. We just aren't the vegetarian kind here. What if there was meat added to the veg? What if it had pie crust to lure them in, sneaky like? What if I topped it with grated swiss cheese to hide the greens? You getting the vibe here? Yep, it looks more like a quiche than a salad, but there are some greens in here still. Plus, it made a ton - I mean a literal, wheelbarrow sky high ton of food, so we'll have some to freeze for another night and plenty for lunch (piled inside some crusty bread, I think - minus the pie crust). So I present for your veggie pleasure, Ratatouille Pie:

1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground turkey
1 eggplant, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
5 small zucchini, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 large red onion, chopped into (you guessed it)
4 cloves of peeled garlic, roughly chopped
1 large can of peeled whole tomatoes, drained and roughly sliced into 1 inch rounds
1/2 cup diced roasted red peppers (I used the ones in a jar)
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
Kosher salt
Sea salt (if you have it)
Herbes de Provence (if you don't have this, some dried tarragon, rosemary and fennel will work)
Fresh cracked pepper
2 prebaked pie shells (I used Marie Callandar's frozen shells and prebaked them according to the package)
Shredded Swiss Cheese - approximately 1 cup per pie

Preheat your oven to 350. In a large skillet, add 2 tablespoons canola oil and then brown the pork. Add the turkey when the pork is still a bit pink. Season with a good sprinkle of kosher salt. Continue browning until both are no longer pink. Remove from pan, set aside.

Add olive oil and butter. When melted, add the red onions and cook until thoroughly soft. Add the garlic while the onions are cooking. Add the eggplant and zucchini to the skillet. Stir up the veggies and cover, cooking approximately 5 minutes on medium heat. Uncover and stir. Add the tomato and peppers, cooking briefly for a few minutes. Sprinkle with approximately 1 1/2 teaspoons of herbes de provence, adding sea salt and pepper to taste. Do taste the veggies to make sure you have them to your liking.

Remove the veggies from the heat. Combine with the pork/turkey mixture. Carefully spoon mixture into prepared pie shells. Top pies with shredded swiss cheese to taste. Bake the pies for about 30 minutes.

You will likely have filling left over. I recommend saving it for sandwiches, tossing it with pasta or freezing for use in another pie later. Vegetarian types could easily leave out the meat and still make this work.


Professor said...

This sounds delicious! We have veggie issues at our house too (if god wanted me to eat veggies he would've made ma a rabbit is Kiddo's fav saying on this topic) so this is perfect! Thanks for another great post!

Kimberly Ann said...

I hope you like it! Let me know how it goes...

Claire Kennedy said...

I just adore your blog. Please check ours out.
God Bless,
Claire Kennedy

Kimberly Ann said...

Hi Claire, glad you found the blog. I really appreciate the shout out. I'll be trying your acorn recipe soon. :-)