Valentine's Day Ratatouille on Risotto by Healing Tomato

(c)Healing Tomato
“[Humans] don’t just survive; they discover; they create…  
I mean, just look at what they do with food!” 
– Remy from "Ratatouille"

That is my favorite line from the Disney/Pixar movie, "Ratatouille." That is a quote from Remy the mouse, who was so fascinated with humans that he actually aspired to be one.

Remy may not have succeeded in becoming an actual human. He did, however, have all the traits of humanity. He explored, discovered and even appreciated fine gourmet cooking.

So, in appreciation of this mouse’s aspirations, I present to you his most loved dish – the Ratatouille!

This Ratatouille is made with so much love and served on a day filled with so much love!

Nothing says a very romantic Valentine’s Day like Ratatouille served on a bed of Risotto. This is an all vegetarian and vegan dish that also happens to be gluten-free.

Over the years, I have tried to make the recipe like it was shown in the movie. Finally, I have come up with a version that works in real life and is just as tasty as the movie version.

Whenever I make this recipe, I always get my neighbors knocking on my door to ask me what smells so delicious. Inevitably, I have to share the dish with them when it is done.

It is a good thing that I make so much of it at one time, so I don’t have a problem sharing.

My version of the Ratatouille has one ingredient that the Movie version wouldn’t dream of having. It is sweet vermouth.

You don’t have to use the sweet vermouth if you don’t want to. I like to use it because it cuts down some of the acidity from the tomatoes and also gives the recipe a little sweetness that you need in any Valentine’s Day dish.

If you are worried about tasting that sweet vermouth in the dish, don’t be. Also, you don’t have to worry about getting a blood alcohol level that prevents you from driving.

I burn off most of the sweet vermouth before putting it in the baking dish. What little is left is burnt off in the baking process. What the sweet vermouth leaves behind is its lovely sweetness.

Personally, I think that you should celebrate love every single day that you are on this planet. If you love someone, let them know that you never take them for granted.

However, having one day a year just for each other also sounds very romantic. Couples tend to play hooky on this day and let all the other stuff in their life take a back seat. You only have eyes for each other on this day.

There is nothing more endearing than that profound sentiment.

So, take this day and adorn your significant other. You will feel refreshed and have renewed faith in your relationship.
All this and Ratatouille!

What more could you ask for in life?

Ratatouille (makes about 4 servings)  (DF, GF, SF, V, VG)
(c) Healing Tomato
Total Prep Time = 1 hour

4 Thai eggplants
4 baby eggplants
3 small yellow squash
3 zucchini squash
1 small red or yellow bell pepper
½ red onion for baking, cut from the middle into rings
¼ red onion for sauce
4 cloves garlic, peeled
4 Roma tomatoes
½ can tomato puree
4 tsp sea salt
4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
2 tsp dried or fresh rosemary
2 tsp dried or fresh parsley
2 tsp olive oil
½ cup water
¼ cup sweet vermouth


Preheat oven to 400 F.

Chop eggplants, squash, bell pepper and onions into circular pieces.

Take the quartered red onion and chop it finely.

Puree the fresh tomatoes.

Cut the garlic into thin slices and set aside.


In a medium saucepan, add the oil and allow it to warm a little.

Add the chopped onions to the oil and allow them to caramelize.

Add the freshly pureed tomatoes, then the water.

Allow to thicken to a paste consistency, then add the sweet vermouth. The sweet vermouth will burn off in about 2-3 minutes. While it is burning off, prepare the baking pan.

Add the contents of the canned tomato puree to the baking pan.

Once most of the sweet vermouth has burned off, add the vegetable mixture to the baking pan. Add 2 tsp salt and mix well.

Distribute the garlic evenly throughout the baking pan.

Arrange the vegetables into an alternating pattern for an attractive rainbow presentation.

Sprinkle the remaining salt, herbs and pepper across the vegetables.

Cover with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Bake for 20-30 minutes, based on your oven. Periodically lift the cover and check to be sure the vegetable tops are not burning.

When the skin of the veggies has crinkled and some of the tomato sauce has burnt off, your Ratatouille is ready!



1 pkg Lundberg Gluten Free Risotto
1 tsp olive oil
2 ½ cups water


I like to use the Gluten Free Risotto from Lundberg. It’s hard to find the plain versions. They always have a flavored version. The good news is that the spice pouch is separate, so you don’t have to use it. Just stick with the Risotto.

In a medium saucepan, add the oil and Risotto.

Saute’ for 3 minutes on medium heat.

Add water and stir. Set heat to medium high and cover.

Bring to a boil. Uncover, stir constantly and reduce heat.

Cook on low until tender.

Bringing the dish together:

Place the Risotto evenly on a serving dish.

Top the Risotto with the Ratatouille. Make a line of vegetables on the Risotto.

Add some of the tomato marinade on top of the Ratatouille and serve.

I don’t think there is anything as romantic as eating from the same plate on Valentine’s Day. If you prefer individual plates, perform the same ritual for the same plate.

Connect with the incredible Rini Desarin at her blog, Healing Tomato.

All text and images in this post are (c) Healing Tomato All rights reserved.

1 comment:

  1. Love your updated twist with almost-roasted vegs that retain their character and really smart to serve it on risotto.