ratatouille tart

When I made my version of baked ratatouille back in July, I had intended to follow up with suggestions of other things you could do with leftovers, or leftover ingredients, as I always have leftover components but have not yet found a store that will sell me two-thirds of one zucchini and a half an eggplant. I really hate having a quarter eggplant leftover, because I’m very unlikely to use it and incapable of throwing it away, so what usually happens is I stash it in the fridge where it gets forgotten about, rots, is found a month later as when I scream in horror and throw it away afterall, having flashbacks to that time I lived with three friends and we were cleaning out the fridge and found something completely awful way in the back and Dave said “sorry, that was my kiwi” and I was like, “uh, that’s a lemon.”

monday dinner

I digress. Here are some of the other ways we have used elements of this non-traditional “ratatouille”:

  • Breakfast: The leftovers make a great breakfast, whether folded into an omelet, crepe or as a base for a poached egg, my favorite. I can find any excuse to eat a poached egg.
  • Pasta or Grain: (Sadly, no pictures of these next two) Take a small stack of extra vegetables and cut them into thin, julienned strips. Repeat with remaining vegetables. Saute some minced garlic and chopped onion in olive oil in a pan until soft, add the julienned vegetables and cook them until they just begin to soften, just a minute or two. Pour one cup of the tomato puree or tomato sauce (a small can works great for this) and heat it until it simmers. Season it to taste and toss it with pasta or spoon it over a cooked grain, from bulgur to barley or couscous. This is one of my favorite “I will not gain weight over the holidays!” counter-attack meals.
  • Frittata: Repeat the julilienning process above, continuing it in the opposite direction, cutting the matchsticks into a fine dice. Stir these bits and some finely sliced green onion into beaten eggs and cook as you would a frittata. Serve topped with a small amount of heated tomato puree or sauce, goat cheese or feta. Invite me over, please.

dufour puff pastryratatouille tart

And now, one more for the list: ratatouille tart. As has become an annual tradition, our families came over for a Hanukah meal on Saturday. I chose to go the lunch route as I have never cooked a luncheon before and thought it might be a fun menu challenge. Yes, I just said “fun menu challenge.” Snicker, snicker–I can hear you, you know.

ratatouille tart

I put down the pate brisee long enough to admit that there are other approaches to tarts, one in particular I have all but ignored on this site: pate feuilletee, or puff pastry. You can’t beat it for easy prep (by that I mean buying it in the freezer section; making it at home is beyond the limits of even my craziness, right now), and when you’re making three tarts, latkes, soup, salad and a two-part dessert, it will be your very best friend.

This ended up being more of a fancy ratatouille pizza than a tart, but potato-potahto, I say. All that mattered was that it was delicious, and I’d make it again in a heartbeat. You too can save your sliced vegetables from kiwi/lemon fate!

ratatouille tart

One year ago: German Pancakes

Ratatouille Tart

Serves 8

14 ounces frozen puff pastry, defrosted in the fridge overnight*
1 Asian eggplant
1 smallish zucchini
1 smallish yellow squash
1 longish red bell pepper
1/3 cup tomato puree (such as Pomi) or canned plain tomato sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
Few sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup crumbled feta

Heat the oven to 375°F. Lightly flour a work surface, lay the sheet of pastry out, and gently roll until it measures about 11 x 15 inches. Slide the pastry onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Prick the pastry all over with a fork, at about 1-inch intervals.

Spread the tomato puree or sauce evenly over the pastry, leaving a one-inch border around the edges.

Trim the ends off the eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash. As carefully as you can, trim the ends off the red pepper and remove the core, leaving the edges intact, like a tube.

On a mandoline, adjustable-blade slicer or with a very sharp knife, cut the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and red pepper into very thin slices, approximately 1/16-inch thick.

Arrange slightly overlapped slices of vegetables concentrically or in rows over the tomato puree or sauce, alternative vegetables. You’ll probably have a few leftover.

Drizzle vegetables with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle de-stemmed thyme leaves over the vegetables.

Bake in the heated oven until the pastry is puffed and browned (including on the bottom), 25 to 30 min and the vegetables look softened. Slide onto a cutting board, sprinkle with the feta, and cut into squares or strips. (A pizza wheel worked surprisingly well for this.) Serve warm or at room temperature.

* I don’t know how widely distributed it is, but those of you in NYC should look for a locally made (like, it’s practically closer for me to walk over to the factory) puff pastry from brand called DuFour that –once you get past the steep price tag–will blow your mind. Prior to trying it, I thought puff pastry was flaky, messy, dry and unsubstantial, pretty for sure but not fun to eat. Once I tried Dufour, I was immediately besmitten.

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80 comments on ratatouille tart

  1. Deb, Your tart is gorgeous. I took a look at DuFour’s Web site. I don’t recognize the label from any of my many, many grocery haunts in Chicago. What stores sell it in NYC? I’ll have to launch a Chicago-area search.

  2. What a great idea to make a tart. I, too had plenty left over when I did the Ratatouille (which, BTW turned out perfectly and was very good). I have never tried frozen pastry… probably about time to give it a try.

    Initially I cut my eggplant in half, so I had a “whole” half left ..which I stuffed with some leftover chicken, zucchini, peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes and feta.
    The ones I had already sliced and had left over.. put in with some leftover scalloped potatoes and sprinkled with fine bread crumbs.. baked for half an a hour..then added some cheddar and a bit of mozzarella and baked til bronzed… .

    Love to visit your site Deb…lots of fun and plenty of info and recipes.

  3. Whitney

    Looks divine as usual. Unfortunately I won’t be making it anytime soon as I can’t seem to find puff pastry in Japan. Don’t mean to be a pain in the ass but I’ve noticed recently that your newer recipes don’t seem to be making it into your recipe list–some kind of server gitch (I’m into blaming computers and the internet for all sorts of problems lately)?.

  4. It looks fantastic, Deb! So beautiful and colorful… Love puff pastry in anything. :)

    I have that same problem at home, since my husband won’t eat half the things I make, I’m always making half recipes or even 1/4 recipes.

  5. Okay, can I just say that I LOVE how you described your vegetables…longish pepper, smallish eggplant. I’m going to have to make this very soon. I bought extra puff pastry a few weeks ago because it was on sale, so now it has a purpose!

  6. Ok, it’s breakfast time right now on a Monday morning and the picture of your poached egg with its golden goodness running onto the plate is slowly killing me. :-)

  7. ann

    You could toss them all into a spicy tomato sauce and make Shakshouka too, another excuse for eating poached eggs, except, they’re poached in the sauce!
    Its delicious for dinner, lunch or breakfast. Who doesn’t love a one pot meal you can eat anytime of the day? Good stuff.

  8. kati

    This looks like the way the rat on the animated movie made ratatoille! Beautiful!

    I’d like to figure out how to do this style of tart with vegetables that I like more than eggplants and zucchinis. I’ll get back to you after finals.

    ( I personally have horrific memories of my mom making this version of it that was essentially tomato/vegetable stew in massive quantities, and then canning it, so that we had the joy of eating all through the winter. When, in fact, what I wanted was mashed potatoes, thank you kindly.)

    I love love love your pictures, always. it did take me a minute to figure out what the egg was, though – I (being mashed potato obsessed) thought, Wow, that’s a LOT of very bright butter!

  9. I love any thing pizza related, and that looks really good. You know you’re lucky you’re out in Chelsea or I would be at your house everyday looking for scraps, leftovers or whatever. Hey, I would bring wine!

  10. Alyxmyself

    hey! u used to see me as ‘jezzie’, now I am just a lurker haha. Anyway wanted to say what a nice, sweet pic of u and Alex at the Gate on Joc’s site. You 2 make the cutest couple :)
    I’m still around, just less visible thanks to my new job. no posting for me! they are watching, even as we speak!

  11. Kathryn

    I love ratatouille! That was actually the first really hearty dish that I ver made from scratch (yes, fine, it was after I saw the movie ;op). This tart looks absolutlely amazing; I can’t wait until I’m home and have a big enough oven to do it properly in.

    Actually … now that I’m looking at your ratatouille recipe, I’ve realized something: I made yours! That was the first blog entry of yours that I read, and it turned out so good I was hooked. Thanks, Deb! =)

  12. I have the e-x-a-c-t same problem with vegetables, especially with eggplants (which I adore, but they’re so huge!) – thank you so much for the fabulous suggestions! Perhaps now my guy won’t have to look innocently into the crisper and then suddenly ask, “why is there a little bit of soggy eggplant in here?”

    I’m a new blogger, by the way – hi!

  13. Sarah

    My boyfriend and I did a version of your original recipe, but we made savory crepes, wrapped them around the veggies, and topped them with goat cheese. Thanks for inspiring us!

  14. That does look absolutely divine, but alas, I think I’ll have to wait till I manage to buy a mandoline to try this – this much fine slicing by hand would kill me!

  15. long time reader, first time commenter..
    But I had to mention.. I’m sitting here reading this entry, looking at the amazing photos, and up walks my 3 year old who points at the computer screen and exclaims “Ratatouille!”
    Back to the blog.. The tart looks amazing. And I agree, everything is better with a poached egg ;)

  16. laura

    I found your website the other night, on a mission to find a recipe for homemade oreos. Have made your recipe twice. Will be mailing a big fat engagement ring and a written proposal for you to please marry me, even though I’m a) a girl and b) already married. Seriously. My husband loves those cookies. Ate all of them last night in a fit of programming inspiration.

    Anyway – I want to know how you get your poached egg to be so gloriously fluffy like that! What’s your secret? Please share! I can never get mine that way, they always turn out rubbery and either under or overcooked.


    PS – So I lied about the part about the engagement ring.
    Sorry. :-)

  17. oh my, all options look simply delicious! I’m so glad you didn’t leave us hanging too long…after getting used to nablopomo I was anxious about going through smitten kitchen withdrawls!

  18. Pauline

    Left over eggplant! I love eggplant. If we ever have any left over we just slice it up, about half an inch thick, brush it with oil and put it in the frying pan or under the grill (broiler). Cook until golden brown and nice and soft in the middle. Tastes great with steak, chicken, or just with some yummy fresh bread. Grilled eggplant sandwiches are amazing.

    While we’re talking about eggplant, Greeks make melitzanosalata with it. My mum’s is amazing! Basically you roast the eggplant whole (skin on) until it’s soft and squidgy, usually about 30 to 40 minutes at moderate heat. Then scoop out the insides and put into food processor with crushed garlic, a little chopped onion, some chopped parsley and then while it’s running drizzle in some olive oil and a splash of red wine vinegar. Add some salt taste it and maybe tweak the other ingredients if you think it needs more of this or that. This is one of my favourite things. Did I say how much I like eggplant?????

  19. I love ratatouille anything. My boyfriend, unfortunately, does not. However, I’m convinced this is because his British mother made a terrible version of it when he was growing up. Hopefully I can make him see the light with a version like this!

  20. carol

    I have recently found your website and I must say I am thrilled! Your photos are gorgeous and your ideas are just so inspiring. Your ratatouille tart reminds me of a similar (minus the puff pastry) creation I make. I layer thinly sliced potatoes, zucchini, and tomatoes like yours, top with fresh parsley and sea salt, drizzle with good olive oil, bake, and then top with fresh basil. Heaven! Crusty bread and I am happy. I am trying your tart this week. I know I will love it.

  21. Sue

    How pretty! Looks like someone saw a certain animated movie a few too many times…I have ratatouille on the mind as well, I went to a Q&A with Brad Bird a little while ago and he spoke about his collaboration with Thomas Keller on the dish for the film. I have wanted to try a version ever since, and as I need a dish to bring to a holiday luncheon – I am thinking that this might just be the perfect thing. Plus, now I get to buy a kitchen toy/mandoline!

    Thanks, and happy holidays!

  22. Kati . . . I was going to say the same thing! I just watched Ratatouille last weekend (I wasn’t thrilled with it . . . but I was sick) and was thinking that this looks like what’s-his-name-the-rat’s version (in a good way, Deb, in a good way).

  23. Hi Deb. I wanted to update you on my Chicagoland Dufour hunt, which was not such an epic undertaking after all. It’s been in the Whole Foods freezer case, right under my nose, all along. I’m using it in a tart tomorrow and can’t wait to give it a shot. Thanks for the help.

  24. Martha

    I’m making this tomorrow for my dad’s birthday! This and your spinach quiche :) I have to say I went on a bookmarking spree on your website :)

  25. That does look absolutely divine, but alas, I think I’ll have to wait till I manage to buy a mandoline to try this – this much fine slicing by hand would kill me!

  26. KQ

    OK, I hope you meant it when you wrote that you want comments, because this is a really old post! But! I got here via your awesome recipe search thingie when I needed something inspirational to do with zucchini. I really, really don’t even *like* zucchini, but I have some, trying to eat a little healthier. (Making your baked ratatouille would have been healthier, but I’m getting there!) Anyway.

    I made this tart! I tweaked it a bit: I had no peppers or eggplant, but I did have tomatoes (yummy heirlooms), so I skipped the sauce and layered the yellow and green zuchs with the tomato. I had fresh basil, so I used that – under the squash instead of on top – and I sprinkled a little garlic jack under there too. I forgot to dock the pastry, and I added the feta before baking instead of after.

    It was SO pretty and SO delicious! I have taken one more step away from my fear of squash! Thank you for a truly inspirational site. It’s wonderful. Blessings to you in your impending motherhood!

  27. I made this -or a version thereof – last night. Had no zuchinni (my partner gave it to his ex wife…not sure if that’s good or bad!) so then ended up improvising with the other veg: eggplant, red pepper a la recipe, harlequin squash, mushroom, onion, artichoke heart, and then all other stuff you suggested. It was delicious!!! However, the bottom was soggy…andI’d like to know how to correct that? Less soggy veg? or pre cooking the puff pastry? Any ideas?..(.I posted a pic on facebook, and people love how it looks)..Cheers, Susan

  28. Katharine

    Just made this a minute ago and dang, is it good. I wasn’t expecting it to have so much flavor, talk about a pleasant surprise! Only changes I made were subbing leftover salsa for the tomato sauce (this was, after all, an attempt to de-clutter the fridge), and chevre for the feta. I added the bits of chevre in the last five or so minutes so that it would have the chance to warm through first; I might add it earlier next time to see if I can get it to brown a little.

    Only drawback (if it even counts) is that I now have random bits of veg and chevre left over – I’ll probably make some sort of patched-together soup with the chevre blended in.

  29. Stacy

    I tried this recipe and I dont know what the heck went wrong but the pastry burned and the vegetables stayed raw. I ended up peeling them off and using them in a makeshift frittata. Maybe it was my pan.

  30. Kelly

    Made this last night and it was GREAT. I don’t have a mandolin but was able to slice thinly enough. The only thing is that it took me a lot longer to cook it – about 45mins. After 20mins, I didn’t want the puff pastry to burn so I tented tinfoil over it.

  31. Christina

    Just made this for dinner tonight. Of course, yours was a hundred times prettier than mine (probably having to do with the fact I don’t have a mandoline, or knife skills). Also, the yellow squash got left in my grocery cart, so I sliced up some shallots instead…that’s a classic substitution, right? But if I make this again, I’m totally going to keep the shallots – they make everything tastier.
    The vegetables and puff pastry made a wonderful counterpoint – I can’t wait for leftovers tomorrow!

  32. Tessa

    I made the recipe, and even after 15 extra minutes in the oven, was still a soggy mess in the middle. The squash gave off so much water in the cooking process, combined with the tomato sauce, made it impossible for the pastry to hold up or the vegetables to cook thoroughly. I looked at another recipe I have for a puff pastry tomato onion tart, which has turned out beautifully every time, and I found a few tips in it that might be helpful to solve the squash tart problems here. First, the oven temp was hotter-425. Second, the tomato slices/topping was salted, sweated and drained on paper towels before putting on the pastry to bake (a good idea for the squash–sweat it before putting it on the tart). Third, a thin smear of goat cheese was the first thing to go on the pastry, sealing it somewhat from liquid. So, with the squash tart, I might do the same and put a drizzling of tomato sauce on top of the goat cheese rather than directly on the pastry. With these modifications, I think the ratatouille tart may be more successful.

  33. Mandy

    So I’m obsessed with my new tart pan and how pretty it makes everything look. Is there any way I can tweak this recipe so that I can use it? The dough is what I’m worried about. Can I still you that puff dough? Or something else?

    I love your blog so much. I am definitely smitten. I’m currently baking your crispy chewy chocolate chip cookies! Mm. This dough is amazing.


  34. Amy

    Made this a couple nights ago, how seasonal and delicious!! The puff pastry, however, was still a bit uncooked in the middle by the time the tart was finished roasting… maybe next time I make it I will precook the pastry for a few minutes before hand before arranging the vegetables on top? Anyway, was a lovely recipe to try out and perfect for summer. Thanks!

  35. Fanya

    I also like cutting leftover into chunks (except the eggplant, slice that) and just stir fry with garlic, tomato and onion. Chunks means they are still a bit crunchy and don’t wilt completely when everything is cooked.

  36. J Mayer

    Suggest to put the cooked tart on a wire cooling rack. This way it will not get soggy. It is beautiful and delicious. Next day reheated for breakfast and added a fried egg on top of each piece.

  37. Amy

    First of all, you are my favorite:) This looks beautiful. I am making this tart for a cookout we are having tomorrow and I am so excited! I bragged about you on Fb and now one of our guest is bringing your blackberry gin fizz too. Thank you!

  38. Morgan

    Your tart looks absolutely beautiful! Mine, however, didn’t end up as pleasing to the eye. I made some slight modifications to fit my family’s taste bus needs. Nothing major: omitted the sauce, served it on the side, and drizzled pastry with extra virgin olive oil; added some very thinly sliced potatoes on top;and switched out the feta for mozzarella. None the less, it was super delicious and possibly my new favorite vegetarian dish!

  39. i2ks

    Late to the party, but I just wanted to say that this was absolutely delicious. The only change I made was to add a clove of garlic (minced) before putting it in the oven.

  40. Skooter

    My daughter made this for dinner last night and we were lucky enough to be invited!! It was so delish! First thing I did this morning was to look it up for MY recipe collection. Her dad, by the way, REALLY, REALLY loved it! The girl’s got “cookin’ chops”!

  41. Lora Heise

    OMG this was absolutely delicious. I made a couple of minor changes. Being Italian I find regular tomato sauce boring so I did what I always do & added sauteed onion, garlic & of course a splash of red wine to the sauce & simmered a bit before using. Also gave the veggies a couple of sprays of Bragg (liquid soy product containing amino acids-if u r unfamiliar) before putting in oven. I find Bragg better than salt in many recipes. Unfortunately the county I live in has neither a Whole Foods or a Trader Joes & I wasn’t planning a trip to the city anytime soon so opted for the Pepridge Farms puff pastry. Still we absolutely LOVED it. I think the grandkids would even like it:>). BUT now I have 1/2 can of tomato sauce leftover. Darn, guess I’ll have to make it again. Thanks Deb for your awesome recipes. I think I’m smitten.

  42. ballardelle

    Tip! After a year of making this tart to pleased dinner guests, I decided to offer it as an appetizer at a party. That meant scaling up the recipe, and there simply wasn’t time to painstakingly shingle each column slice by slice, alternating vegetables one by one. Instead, I took a handful of slices from one vegetable and shingled it DIAGONALLY across the tart. Then I took another vegetable of a contrasting color and shingled it alongside, and so on until the tart was full of diagonal rows of veggie shingles. The final result looked almost the same as the traditionally shingled tart, especially after I scattered shallot rings, thyme leaves and feta on top. When the baked tart was sliced into squares, each guest had a little of each vegetable on pastry. Big success, and the DIAGONAL SHINGLING drastically reduced the prep time. Hooray!

  43. Nicole

    Thank you for this inspiration! I just made this yesterday and everyone in my large family loved it! (Including the picky eaters) I did make a couple changes. I used olive oil instead of tomato sauce and I added sliced tomatoes and thin mozzarella cheese. But I did use the Dufour puff pastry like you recommended. Worth every penny. I will be making this again. I might make a romesco or marinara sauce to go on the side. Thank you for this recipe!!

  44. Laura

    I made this for lunch over the weekend, and it was very tasty. I did make a few changes based on personal preference/available ingredients: I used goat cheese instead of feta because that’s what I had on hand, I sprinkled the veggies with dried thyme because I didn’t have fresh, and I sprinkled a bit of minced garlic on top of the veggies. All of these changes worked really well.

    I also took the advice of an earlier commenter and shingled the veggies in single rows diagonally across the tart. I wasn’t planning on doing this, but my pepper and eggplant were WAY bigger than the zucchini and yellow squash, which made it really hard to alternate them. The downside of the diagonal squares is that some pieces only had 2 or 3 of the veggies on them, but in general, it was still delicious.

    The one thing that didn’t work for me in this recipe is that the crust ended up being pretty soggy in the middle. I think if I make this again, I’ll prebake the puff pastry a bit like you do in your roasted garlic tomato tart recipe. I might also consider pre-roasting the veggies or at least salting them and letting them drain a bit before going on the tart.

  45. Leah

    I just loved this recipe! I did make some adjustments that addressed people’s issues: i pre-baked with pie weights for about 10 minutes, and I salted the zucchini to draw the water out. However, I did use pretty juicy tomatoes and they didn’t seem to make it soggy (even the next day). I went pretty minimalist on the tomato sauce. Instead of feta I sprinkled on goat cheese and it was awesome. The addition of basil was very good, too!

  46. sherri nichols

    Love all your recipes! Made the ratatouille tart with DuFore Pastry dough. It was delish, except the middle was soggy and difficult to pick up ……… can we make all these wonderful galettes and tarts w/out the soggy middle???

    1. deb

      Was it baked until it was a deep, golden brown? Baking it a little darker, no matter what the cooking estimate says, helps it set up and stay more crisp.

  47. I have now made this three times in about six weeks despite the fact that my kids dislike all of the vegetables on it and my husband’s waning enthusiasm. I added one step to the cooking process by microwaving the eggplant and zucchini slices for 3-5 minutes to cook off extra moisture. I don’t have a mandoline so this helps if my slices are a little too thick. They still stay moist and the crust is crisp. A very simple, elegant, and delicious dish! Thank you!

  48. Maria

    I made this last night! The veggies were nice and thin so it wasn’t too moist at all and I used a homemade rough puff that was absolutely delicious. I would double the tomato sauce and really go to town on the time next time. Also! Make sure you don’t poke holes with your fork on the outer inch of the crust so that it really puffs up. Might seem totally obvious but I messed that up!

  49. Mark & Rachel

    This was awesome. We had some Chimayo powder left over from a trip to New Mexico, so we layered a healthy amount on top of the tomato sauce, and it was sensational.

    Thanks for the recipe!