For reasons I don’t fully understand, I’ve had ratatouille in the back of my mind to AIP-ify for quite some time. I know. I didn’t even have a go-to AIP “no-mato” sauce (tomato-free marinara), but I was determined to take this on and make it good. Lucky for us, I was very successful.
Why can’t we have a good nightshade-free option for ratatouille? WE CAN. It’s such a beautiful, colorful dish. And fortunately, it tastes as beautiful as it looks.
Don’t be afraid of how involved this dish may seem. It certainly is a labor of love, but it’s worth it. The way the flavors meld together at the end…it’s a dream. So good.
Be sure to read the recipe through before you start following the directions. I break it up by task, but the order in which you follow may be different than what is outlined. It’ll make sense once you read it!
For tomato-free marinara:
1/3 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup chopped red beets
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups water
1/4 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/8 cup tightly packed chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp dried oregano
1 medium zucchini
1 medium yellow squash
1 medium golden beet
1 cup thinly sliced red radishes
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/8 cup coconut aminos
1/8 cup fresh thyme, finely chopped and tightly packed
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
For the marinara:
- In a medium-sized pot, sauté onion in olive oil on medium-high heat until translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add chopped beets and carrots, then sauté to combine for 1 minute.
- Add water and sea salt.
- Once the water starts to boil, set a timer for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes are up, carefully pour the beet mixture into a blender and blend until smooth.
- Transfer mixture back to the pot on low heat and add basil, oregano, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast.
- Put a lid on the pot and simmer for 10 minutes (if you don’t put a lid on, it will splatter everywhere and you will hate everything).
- After 10 minutes, taste and add salt if necessary.
For the vegetables and assembly:
- During the 30 minutes that the beets, carrots, etc are in boiling water, cut up all your vegetables. Thinly slice the zucchini and squash (I used this time to slice the carrots and radishes as well). Cut the golden beets into wedges to match the size of the other vegetables.
- Note: You can use a mandolin slicer to cut the vegetables, but I sliced by hand because I think the imperfection of the different thicknesses and sizes adds character and makes it feel more rustic.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Pour mixture into the bottom of a 12-inch cast iron skillet (or round cake pan).
- Layer vegetables on top in a single layer in a pattern, following the shape of the pan. Start on the outer layer and build inward.
- Note: If you have leftover veggies, you can roast them on the side (as I did) or just snack on them (as I also did).
- Add olive oil, red wine vinegar, coconut aminos, thyme, salt, and garlic into a bowl, then whisk to combine.
- Pour mixture over vegetables.
- Place into oven for 30 minutes.
- Serve with an extra squeeze of lemon and, if desired, a sprinkle of flaky maldon sea salt.
-You can make the nomato sauce ahead of time, then quickly assemble and bake when you’re ready to eat.
-You can replace the nomato sauce with any tomato sauce of your own if you can tolerate nightshades. Don’t skip the pour-over sauce though!
-If you don’t want your ratatouille to be as saucy, measure 1 cup of the sauce and use it to coat the bottom of the skillet or pan instead of using all of the sauce. Leftover sauce can be used just as you would marinara (pasta, with vegetables, pizza topping, etc).