Meatless Monday: Ratatouille Tart With Caramelized Onion-Tomato Jam

By: Michelle Buffardi
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It's Monday and we're meatless once again. Not for good but for today and every Monday-- eating less meat has benefits to your health and to the environment, so we've decied to join in on Meatless Monday. Giving up meat doesn't mean giving up flavor or satisfaction. A meatless meal doesn't mean you'll be hungry an hour after eating; you don't have to give up variety, taste or texture, and you won't be condemned to a day of lettuce and tofu. We're eager to share our favorite meat-free recipes that are so satisfying, you won't miss the meat.

Ratatouille is a French dish (not to be confused with the popular Disney movie about little Remy-the-rat who dreams of becoming a chef) that hails from Provence and is composed of eggplant, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, zucchini, garlic and herbs—all simmered in olive oil. Ratatouille can be served hot, cold or at room temperature, either as a side dish or as an appetizer with bread or crackers. Some variations of ratatouille involve grilling the vegetables instead of cooking them on the stove-top. Sometimes the vegetable mixture is served in a pie crust, sometimes over fish and sometimes it's turned into a soup. In Kelsey Nixon's twist on ratatouille, she layers the traditional vegetables onto a puff pastry shell with homemade onion-tomato jam. The result is a light-yet-filling dish that makes use of all of the vegetables in season right now. Pair the tart with a green salad for the perfect Meatless Monday meal, or make the tart any day of the week as an appetizer or side dish; it goes well with grilled fish, chicken or beef, too.

Kelsey Nixon's Ratatouille Tart With Caramelized Onion-Tomato Jam

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
Flour, for dusting
1/2 to 3/4 cup Caramelized Onion-Tomato Jam, recipe follows
3 Roma tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 Japanese eggplant, sliced 1/4-inch thick on a mandoline
1 yellow squash, sliced 1/4-inch thick on a mandoline
1 zucchini, sliced 1/4-inch thick on a mandoline
1 to 2 roasted red peppers, julienned
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
3 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano, divided
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
Caramelized Onion-Tomato Jam:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 Vidalia onions, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, minced

10 Roma tomatoes, cored, seeded and roughly chopped (about 2 1/2 pounds)

1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

For the Caramelized Onion-Tomato Jam:

In a high-sided saute pan with a lid, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, season with the salt, cover and cook until they are wilted and soft, about 10 minutes. Remove the lid and cook the onions until they are golden and caramelized, stirring often, about 20 minutes more.

Stir in the garlic and saute 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook an additional 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Stirring consistently, cook until the tomatoes breakdown and the jam becomes thick, about 20 minutes. Yield: 3 cups

For the Tart:

Roll the puff pastry out on a floured surface to a rectangular shape, about 12 by 10 1/2 inches. Transfer the pastry sheet to a parchment-lined baking sheet. With the tines of a fork, dock a 1/2-inch border around the edge of the sheet and dock the center of the sheet a few times as well. This will prevent the dough from rising as it cooks.

Spread the Caramelized Onion-Tomato Jam evenly over the pastry, leaving a small border around the edge of the pastry. Layer the tomatoes, eggplant, yellow squash and zucchini in overlapping rows, or in whatever pattern you like. Sprinkle the roasted red peppers around the tart. Drizzle the assembled tart with a little olive oil, making sure to brush a little on the edges, season with salt and pepper and top with half of the fresh oregano.

Bake until the pastry is golden brown and puffed, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with the goat cheese and the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano before serving.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Try it out and tell us what you think with a recipe rating and review.

More Meatless Monday Inspiration:
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