Ratatouille — the classic French casserole of eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers and tomatoes — is one of my favorite summer vegetable dishes.
Here is yet another variation on ratatouille, with cannellini beans and a breadcrumb/Parmesan cheese topping. The addition of white beans sounded to me like a distinctly French idea, despite the fact that the recipe came from a Weight Watchers cookbook. Perhaps Weight Watchers has hired a French chef to develop their recipes. I wouldn’t be surprised — the most recent ones have been downright Mediterranean rather than typically American. That, by the way, is a good thing.
Don’t forego the gratin topping. It adds crunch and a big hit of flavor from the Parmesan, lemon zest, rosemary and garlic. The recipe calls for one pound of eggplant. I prefer the small, slender Japanese variety; they don’t require peeling and they are never bitter.
1 pound eggplant, cut into 1-in. pieces
2 bell peppers, cut into 1-in. pieces
2 Roma tomatoes, quartered
1 zucchini, cut into 1-in. pieces
1 onion, cut into 8 wedges
1 (15 1/2-oz.) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. olive oil
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick spray.
Place eggplant, bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini and onion on baking sheet. Roast, stirring occasionally, until veggies are browned and tender, about 25-30 minutes.
Spray a 1 1/2-qt. baking dish with nonstick spray and place the roasted vegetables and the drained beans into the dish.
Stir together the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, lemon zest, rosemary and garlic in a small bowl and sprinkle over the vegetables. Return to oven and bake uncovered for about 20 minutes, or until topping is browned.
WW PP per serving: 5