Ratatouille (rah-tah-TWEE) is a vegetable side dish that originated in the Provence region of France. The classic recipe consists of sautéed eggplant, onions, tomatoes, yellow squash, zucchini plus garlic and herbs.
It is traditionally summer dish, when tomatoes, zucchini and yellow squash are plentiful and at peak.
Ratatouille is delightfully colorful when you use red, yellow and/or orange bell peppers and tomatoes/cherry tomatoes. To make ratatouille as a side dish, check out this recipe.
Ingredients For 1 Large Pizza
You can save time by purchasing the dough or a prepared crust (we sure did—and saved half the steps in the preparation). But Lisa, of Flour De Lisa made hers from scratch, using a pizza dough recipe from Bobby Flay. She adapted the ratatouille from Smitten Kitchen; we further adapted it.
This can be a vegan recipe; but we adapted it by adding both ricotta and mozzarella. We put the mozzarella under the vegetables to showcase the colors. We also created a breakfast pizza version by adding eggs, which bake on top of the pizza.
Without the cheese, the recipe is dairy free and low fat. Use a whole wheat crust and skim-milk cheeses and you have a pizza that’s on the “better for you” list.
Slice the vegetables to a width of 1/8 to 1/16th inch.
 Ratatouille (photo © http://www.TheFormerChef.com).
*You can scatter 10 medium basil leaves or 1/2 cup shredded basil atop the pizza when it comes out of the oven.
†A handful is one of those imprecise measures that says: Use how much you want. More or less of the ingredient is not critical to the recipe’s outcome.
1. MAKE the pizza dough: Combine 1-3/4 cup flour with the yeast, salt, and sugar. Add the oil and water, i.e. slightly warmer than your body temperature. Mix until the dough starts to form a ball. scraping down the bowl. If the dough is too wet, slowly add more flour. If the dough becomes too dry, slowly add more water.
2. TURN out the dough onto a lightly floured or oiled surface. Knead for a few minutes until it is smooth and elastic. When you poke it, the dough should spring back readily; when you hold the ball of between your palms, it should hold its shape. Lightly oil a clean bowl, place the dough in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Set aside in a warm place to rise for about an hour, until the dough has doubled in size. While waiting for the dough to rise…
3. MAKE the ratatouille. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the tomato paste, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, minced garlic, sliced onion and a dash of red pepper flakes on the bottom of an 8- or 9-inch diameter springform pan. Alternatively, you can cook the ratatouille on top of the rolled-out pizza dough, but the vegetables won’t be as tender or flavorful due to the significantly less cooking time.
Optional cooking method: We steamed the vegetables separately to al dente, and then were able to pick them up with fingers and layer them perfectly, as in the photo.
4. LAYER on top of the tomato paste mixture the zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant and bell pepper, alternating the colors. Start with the inside perimeter and move inward. If you have extra vegetables, save them for a salad, omelet, etc. Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over the assembled ratatouille. Season with a dash of salt and pepper and thyme or rosemary. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 45 minutes, increasing the temperature of the oven to as high as possible (450°F or 500°F on most ovens) within the last 5-10 minutes. While the ratatouille is baking…
5. TURN back to the pizza dough. When the first rise is completed, turn out the dough onto a large sheet of lightly floured or oiled parchment paper. Punch out the air and form a disk. Roll out the dough into a circle about 10-12 inches in diameter. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
6. MIX the ricotta with the garlic, parsley, salt and pepper to taste.
7. REMOVE the finished ratatouille from the oven, uncover the pizza dough and place it on a baking sheet. Par bake the pizza dough for a minute or two and remove it from the oven. If using ricotta, spread it over the crust, followed by the mozzarella. If you prefer, use the mozzarella to top the pizza.
8. RELEASE the springform pan carefully—it can be hot! Use one or two spatulas two to gently slide the ratatouille onto the center of the pizza. If you can do it evenly, great. If not, it will still taste delicious. Lightly brush the exposed pizza crust with olive oil.
9. BAKE the pizza for 8-12 minutes, until the pizza crust is a golden brown. Slice and serve.
Many people use the adjective crispier when they mean crisp.
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