It’s true what they say – distance and time make the heart grow fonder. When I only see my family a couple weeks out of the year, it’s important to cherish those moments together.
I think that most people have as at least one warm fuzzy Disney/Pixar memory with their family. The happiest place on Earth, where dreams come true! The Disney love is especially strong in SoCal where I grew up, thanks to the proximity of Disneyland.
One of my brother’s favorite Disney/Pixar movies is Ratatouille. I love how the movie illustrates the taste of delicious food using visual art and sound. Watching that movie never fails to make me hungry!
In addition to the amazing beautiful plates featured in last week’s post, I was also giddy to receive The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook as a birthday present! One of my favorite blogs for both mouthwatering flavor combinations and visually stunning food photography. When I flipped through the book and the Ratatouille Sub caught my eye, I knew I absolutely had to make it for my brother – but with a different carb twist in mind.
The Smitten Kitchen’s version of ratatouille is based off the Pixar movie, which actually isn’t the typical preparation of this classic homey French dish – traditionally it’s more of a stew instead of a casserole. But the colorful presentation of the movie version is so gorgeous, I really wanted to showcase all the beautiful layers instead of deconstructing it for a sandwich. If only the sandwich could be open-faced and roundish…PIZZA, is that you calling my name? 😉
Bobby Flay’s pizza dough recipe is my go-to for any homemade pizza or garlic knot goodness. The dough comes together easily and quickly, and can be frozen for later use. If you don’t feel like making pizza from scratch though, I’m sure frozen pizza dough from the supermarket works just fine. Despite this ratatouille pizza being completely vegan, it’s incredibly filling without giving the usually bloated greasy feeling of dollar pizza from around the corner. Loaded to the brim with tender, flavorful veggies, this is one satisfying snack or meal that is truly good for you!
Next time you’re watching Ratatouille and feeling hungry, no need to suffer – just replace your popcorn with some yummy and nutritious ratatouille pizza!
makes 1 large pizza/8 slices (or however many slices you want)
egg free/dairy free/vegan, low fat
pizza dough from Bobby Flay
- 1 3/4 to 2 cups flour (bread flour for a crispier crust, all-purpose for chewer)
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 3/4 cup lukewarm water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
ratatouille adapted from Smitten Kitchen
- 1 zucchini, sliced (1/8 to 1/16th inch width)
- 1 yellow squash, sliced (1/8 to 1/16th inch width)
- 1 Japanese eggplant, sliced (1/8 to 1/16th inch width)
- 1 long red bell pepper or ~6 mini red bell peppers, sliced (1/8 to 1/16th inch width)
- 1 cup tomato paste
- 1/2 yellow or red onion, sliced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- red pepper or chili flakes, salt and pepper to taste
- optional – herb of choice for garnish (rosemary, thyme, etc)
- optional – cheese of choice for garnish (personally, I feel like the cheese was not needed)
- First, get the pizza dough going. Combine 1 3/4 cup flour and all the yeast, salt, and sugar. Add the oil and lukewarm water – water should be the temperature of “bathwater”, i.e. slightly warmer than your body temperature. Mix until the dough starts to form a ball and clean the sides of the bowl – if dough is too wet, slowly add flour. If dough becomes too dry, slowly add more water.
- Turn out dough on to a lightly floured or oiled surface. Knead for a few minutes until smooth and elastic – when you poke it, the dough should spring back readily, and when you hold the ball of dough up between your palms it should hold its shape instead of sinking down.
- Lightly oil a clean bowl, place dough in bowl, and cover with plastic wrap or a wet towel. Set aside in a warm place to rise for about an hour, until doubled in size.
- While waiting for the dough to rise, get started on 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 or chili powder on the bottom of a 8 or 9 inch diameter springform pan. (Alternatively, you can cook the ratatouille right on the rolled out pizza dough, but the vegetables won’t be nearly as tender or soaked through with flavor due to the significantly less cooking time.)
- On top of the tomato paste mixture, layer the slices of zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, and bell pepper, alternating colors/vegetables. Do the outside ring first and go inward. You may not need to use all of the vegetable slices – save the leftovers for a salad or some other dish later!
- Drizzle remaining tablespoon of olive oil over the assembled ratatouille. Season with a dash of salt and pepper and thyme or rosemary (or whatever herb you prefer).
- Cover the pan with foil and bake for 45 minutes, increasing the temperature of the oven to as high as possible (450 or 500 F on most ovens) within the last 5-10 minutes.
- While the ratatouille is baking, keep an eye on your pizza dough. When the first rise is completed, turn out the dough onto a large sheet of lightly floured or oiled parchment paper. Knock 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 rest for about 10 minutes.
- After the ratatouille has baked for 45 minutes and you’ve remvoed it from the oven, uncover the rolled out pizza dough and place on a baking sheet. Parbake the pizza dough for just a minute or two and remove from the oven.
- Carefully (don’t burn yourself!) release the springform pan with the ratatouille. Use a spatula or two to gently slide the ratatouille onto the center of the parbaked pizza crust. No worries if it ends up looking sloppy – it’ll still taste delicious even if a slice or two escapes you! If you have no vegan considerations and want to add cheese, sprinkle it on top now. Another optional addition at this time would be to brush the exposed pizza crust with olive oil.
- Finish off baking the pizza for about 8-12 minutes, until the pizza crust is a golden brown. Slice however you like and enjoy!
Nutritional description: No lie – this pizza is totally a nutritional powerhouse. It’s true what they say about a colorful plate being a healthy one, and having not just a ton of veggies but a ton of different veggies packs this pizza full of a bunch of different nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants. Just a little olive oil keeps it low fat while ensuring what fat is there is mostly heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. You can have your pizza and your health too!
Nutritional information (calculated without optional garnishes, per slice based on 8 slices): Calories 220, Total Fat 6.3g, Saturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 1.2mg, Carbs 33.2g, Fiber 4.8g, Sugars 7.8g, Protein 6.6g, Sodium 333.7mg