Sign In Existing Member?

Ratatouille

christel pierron from United States

Serves
6
Preparation
30-40 minutes
Cooks in
45 min to 1 hour
Country of origin
France

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”!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed, and finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 big yellow onion or 2 medium ones (about 12 ounces)
  • 1 eggplant (1¼ pounds) into 1-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
  • 3 medium zucchini (1 ¼ pounds) in 1-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
  • 2-3 (seeded and sliced) green (red + yellow) bell peppers (1 pound/about 3 cups)
  • 5–6 well-ripened tomatoes (peeled & seeded if you prefer) coarsely cubed (about 4 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • a few pinch of mix Herbes de Provence to taste; 2 bay leaves; (or pick some fresh rosemary; oregano, thyme…
  • ½ cup water
  • enthusiasm
  • love
  • patience

Method

  • Prep all the vegetables first: wash,l eave skins, remove ends, chop, dice and slice, putting each veggie in a separate dish, as well as onions and garlic
  • When ready, heat the olive oil in a large pan/skillet for sautéing
  • Brown the onions and garlic first, and put aside in a bigger pot/casserole (that will end up containing all the sautéed veggies for the later simmering)
  • Then add each type of vegetable one after the other, in batches (so they can brown instead of steam) 5 to 8 minutes each batch (first eggplant, then zucchini etc… tomatoes last), each sautéed batch going into the larger simmer pot
  • When all veggies are in simmer pot, stir them well adding your herbs, salt, pepper, water
  • Let simmer the whole pot until the ingredients melt completely
  • If there is a lot of liquid, remove the cover to let water evaporate a bit, stir once in a while.
  • The longer the simmering, the tastier!
  • Eat plain with a fresh piece of Italian or French bread; or serve with a side of sautéed potatoes, rice or quinoa or pasta…Bon appetit!

veggies
Prep-veggies
in-casserole
traditional-vegetable-ratatouille-on-white-plate

View other entries - view all