Rainbow Veggie Ratatouille with Pesto
I admit it; recently I have started to feel just a little bit bored with my same old rota of veggies. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore vegetables but had gotten somewhat stuck in a ‘sides’ rut and fancied doing something a bit different. But with the kids STILL off school, different couldn’t mean tricky or time-consuming. So in true multi-tasking style, I got my little minions to work in chopping the vegetables! Side note – I just bought some new kiddie friendly knives and they absolutely love playing sous-chef. Amused kids + help with dinner = winning at life.
I instantly fell in love with many things about this dish. And since I’m an innate list-maker, I thought my new veggie meal deserved a list of its very own!
· At the very top just has to be the fact that it was so delicious! The melted mozzarella, the roasted veggies and the flavourful pesto were a total dream combination.
· It is so darn pretty! Which is one of the reasons that it makes a great dinner party option. It can be prepped in advance in individual dishes and just popped in the oven when the time comes for fuss-free entertaining.
· It is very versatile. It can either be a veggie-filled vegan side dish or can become a vegetarian main meal by adding cheese and giving it more of a Melanzane Parmiagiana feel. You can also substitute the pesto topping for a rich tomato sauce, giving you more variety depending on what kind of saucy mood you’re in!
· It is packed with a rainbow of brightly-coloured antioxidant-rich vegetables. Colour is nature’s way if advertising a food’s inherent “goodness” and this provides a whole host of vitamins, minerals and fibre, which are all crucial for optimal health and wellbeing.
One portion (with mozzarella) provides 328 calories, 15g of protein, 25% of my daily fibre and over half of my Vitamin C requirements.
· 2 Medium Courgettes
· 1 Red Onion
· 1 Aubergine (or 3 baby ones)
· 2 Big Vine Tomatoes
· 125g Mozzarella
· 3-4 tbsp Pesto OR Tomato Sauce
· Handful of fresh Basil
· Salt and Fresh Black Pepper
· Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
· Slice all of the vegetables into round circles.
· Finely chop the basil leaves.
· Nestle the veggies tightly together in a dish.
· Brush with olive oil and season with a little salt and fresh black pepper.
· Sprinkle with the basil leaves and spoon over the pesto (or tomato sauce).
· Bake in the oven for between 30-45 minutes (depending on whether you are using individual roasting dishes or one big one).
· Serve immediately.
Calories – 328
Protein – 15g
Carbohydrates – 17g
Fat – 24g
Fibre – 6g
Vitamin C – 51%
Vitamin A – 19%
Iron – 6%