Oven Roasted Ratatouille Beans with Toasted Breadcrumbs & Basil Oil

A bit of a mouthful, but a totally delicious one.

Re-create a restaurant meal.

Today I am recreating a dish that I have only eaten once from a cafe that I have only been to once, however my experience there was so memorable that I have talked about it several times since. The cafe is Mixed Business in Clifton Hill, and I went with a group of about 15-20 people from work for a group brunch on a weekday. The service was outstanding and friendly, and I was just awed by the fact that they were able to bring out all of our dishes at the same time with so many of us there. Not only that, they were freaking delicious.

I had avocado on toast with a side of slow roasted ratatouille beans. The beans were topped with toasted crumbs and a drizzle of basil oil. Outrageously good. Unfortunately I did not take a photo of the dish on the day, nor do I have a photographic memory, so I was trying to recreate the idea in my head here. It worked out great, and this will definitely be a rotation in our weekend breakfasts.

Note, I started out using fresh tomatoes and then added crushed tomatoes to make the beans more saucy. I’m sure if you wanted to use a whole can of crushed tomatoes and omit the fresh ones it will be much the same.


Slow Roasted Ratatouille Beans with Toasted Crumbs and Basil Oil
(serves 3-4 as a side)

1 medium eggplant, diced (roughly 3 cups) skin on or off
1 red capsicum, diced
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp oil
cups cooked butter beans
3 Tbsp tomato paste + ΒΌ cup water
200g crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

2 slices of stale bread, crusts removed

Basil oil:
1 cup tightly packed basil leaves
Β½ cup olive oil
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 220C. Place onion, garlic, eggplant, capsicum, chopped tomatoes in a large baking dish and toss with olive oil. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring once or twice. Remove from heat.

In a small bowl, whisk together tomato paste and water. Add tomato paste mix, crushed tomatoes, fresh basil and salt and pepper and stir to combine. Return to oven for 40-50 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check that the eggplant is tender, and the sauce is nice and thick. If it needs a little longer, you may want to add a little more liquid to keep it at the right consistency.

While the beans are cooking, prepare the basil oil. Bring a pot of water to the boil and blanch the basil leaves for no more than a minute. Transfer to icy water to cool. Blend basil, oil and salt as best as possible, then strain through a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth.

To prepare the breadcrumbs, tear up the pieces of bread and place in a food processor. Process until crumbs are formed. Spread crumbs out onto a baking tray and pop in the oven, bake until crumbs are golden – 5 – 10 minutes. Make sure you stir them regularly to ensure they don’t burn. Remove from oven and put aside.

To prepare, serve up some beans, sprinkle on some breadcrumbs and top with a drizzle of basil oil. Serve with a side of avo on toast, of course.




  1. Joey says:

    That definitely looks so freaking delicious to me! Beans are a regular part of my morning rotation, but normally on toast – this looks way more fancy, and delicious!

    1. littleveganbear says:

      Thanks Joey! It’s definitely one for a day when there’s a bit more cooking time…a nice late sunday brunch I reckon.

  2. shaheen says:

    I don’t know if you saw my blog post last month regarding ratatouille http://allotment2kitchen.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/ratatouille-with-vpud-black-pudding-and.html
    The truth is I don’t like ratatouille much, but with the addition of beans may try again. I do however like your avocado on toast, breadcrumb topping and basil oil.

    1. littleveganbear says:

      Oh it’s a shame you don’t like ratatouille – you can always make it for me πŸ˜‰ I love your polenta flowers – so cute. I reckon the breadcrumbs and basil oil do take this next level though πŸ™‚

  3. Sonja says:

    Looks delicious! I love the idea of such a warm and filling meal right now since it’s been so cold over here for the last couple of days. Gonna cook something similiar later to enjoy and cuddle up under a blanket! Anyways, really nice blog! I’m excited to see what more you’re going to come up with.

    1. littleveganbear says:

      Totally! This is awesome comfort food πŸ™‚ I really don’t mind the cooler weather when I can have lovely food like this. Thanks for the nice words, have loved coming across your blog and look forward to reading more posts from you too!

  4. I would be really happy to eat avo smash if it came with a hearty bean dish on the side – hope this idea takes on – looks delicious

    1. littleveganbear says:

      It’s such a great meal – you could get the beans as a main at Mixed Business which might have been a bit much for me. But with a side of avo toast, poifect!

  5. Elyse says:

    This looks like such a colourful, beautiful, delicious meal!!!! Definitely bookmarking this for next weekend πŸ™‚

    1. littleveganbear says:

      Thanks Elyse! Hope you enjoy it πŸ™‚

  6. lysette says:

    Man this is such a great any meal of the day dish!

    It is such a bummer when a restaurant brings out everyone’s dish staggered but when they get it right, what a difference, I don’t know how they pull that off either especially with the size of party you had.

    1. littleveganbear says:

      I agree! I thought it was pretty impressive, particularly for a relatively small cafe. Good on em!

  7. Rose says:

    This is so appealing! It looks rich and full of texture and flavor, and I love the idea of avocado toast on the side…I’d be very happy indeed if this was placed before me.

    I’m bookmarking this, and I think I’m going to have to order some butter beans online, because I adore them, and for some unknown reason, I can’t find them anywhere in shops here—not in bulk, not in canned.

    1. littleveganbear says:

      Thanks Rose, it certainly is a flavoursome dish! You’ll have to let me know how it goes if you make it. I can’t believe butter beans are so hard to find, how frustrating. They are a favourite bean in this household, I am quite impartial to them and my boyfriend loves them!

  8. Mihl says:

    I’ve already been admiring this dish on Instagram. I wish you could teleport all your beautiful MoFo meals. This is such a perfect autumn dish!

    1. littleveganbear says:

      Thanks Mihl, what a lovely comment πŸ™‚ I have been doing the same with yours, I’m especially taken by your Grand Budapest Hotel dessert! Obviously I love that movie due to Bill Murray being in it, tee hee, but I love all Wes Anderson films.

  9. Jennifer says:

    I soooooo want a BIG bowl of this right now! YUM!

  10. Oh my that looks sooooooo good! I am going to have to try this soon!!!

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