I get to enjoy ratatouille specific times of year as I visit friends in Italy and then my mother in France…I am French, and have been a vegetarian since a few decades. I live in America far from some of my friends and family. When I visit them, every one is always a bit worried about what to cook for me The Vegetarian! They know how I love ratatouille and that’s a welcome meal for me. I find it is a comforting and tasty four seasons dish that can be easily prepared to share with friends and family, because it’s a vegetarian dish that is known by most European people and that pleases everyone, vegan and carnivores alike. As a vegetarian dish it is not intimidating, it requires the simplest ingredients and cooking skills! Ratatouille can be cooked together in the kitchen like at a “chef party” where you assign everyone to a part of the chopping process for example. A provencal dish, Ratatouille has that flavor of South of France, Italy, and even Spain in its character: the ingredients are widely used in all of theses particular cuisines: olive oil, herbes de Provence, garlic, onions, tomatoes, etc… Easy to cook, it just requires some time to prepare. You can serve it with fresh bread sautéed potatoes, pasta or rice or quinoa and play with the herbs and spices in a creative way (once- to make a variation and as an experiment- I added Turmeric in my ratatouille: a very different experience but also delicious!) You can also make a lot of it and reheat the next day in a pan, it will even taste juicer and tastier! It is definitely a family dish! For a vegetarian like me, ratatouille is an easy-going, nutritious and delicious meal that makes my non-vegetarian family and friends comfortable around the table when I visit! Not to mention that the name is fabulous, it definitely sounds funny and reflects very well its aspect of “many colorful ingredients-all mixed together and turning soft, tasty, and juicy- in a pot”!