Ratatouille is more than just an animated movie… And by the way, a real ratatouille doesn’t look like that fancy dish the rat is cooking in that movie! It is a rustic, simple dish of vegetables only, made originally in the south of France.
It is definitely one of the easiest dish you could make. You could just throw everything in a pot and slow cook it until all the veggies are nice and tender. But, the school of French Master Chefs have all agreed that cooking each vegetable first and separately, will result in better taste.
My version sits in the middle: I do cook all the vegetable first (except the tomatoes) but not all separately. Using a large baking tray, you can cook the eggplant, zucchinis and pepper all at once! While in the pot, you can cook the onions and garlic.
Once they are all roasted and soft, you combine them, add the tomatoes, and simmer for a while longer!
Don’t feel like your cheating using canned tomatoes, as long as they are good quality ones. Tasty fresh tomatoes are really only available for a few weeks in August around here (BC, Canada) so does that mean that’s the only time to enjoy ratatouille? Absolutely not!
I love a warm bowl any time of the year. It is actually very good cold too! Savor it plain, or with cheese and / or pesto and a dash of Espelette Chili pepper (Espelette pepper is one of the rare spicy pepper that is originally from France). Enjoy it on it’s own or as a side dish for pasta (my favorite), meat, fish, eggs: I love cooking a fried egg with a sunny yolk and lay it on a bowl of ratatouille!!!
It might sound like something to enjoy in the winter, but really it’s a year round dish. I decided to share it now, because you would have more chance to find testy local vegetable in the summer. Make a huge batch, freeze it for later!
Hope you’ll love Ratatouille as much as I do and adopt this dish as part of your meal rotation! Bonus points for being 100% veggies!
- 1 large eggplant cubed
- 2 zucchinis cubed
- 1 green bell pepper cubed
- 1 large onion sliced
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp herbs de Provence
- 2 tsp sea salt to taste
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 can peeled tomatoes or about 2 lbs fresh tomatoes
- 1 can cherry tomatoes or 1 lbs fresh cherry tomatoes
- 1 tsp dried rosemary if fresh not available
- 1 tsp dried thyme if fresh not available
- 1/4 tsp Espelette chili pepper optional
- Preheat your oven at 450 F.
- Cut your eggplant, zucchinis and pepper in cubes. On a baking tray, add all those veggies with a generous drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs de Provence. Stir well. Lay the veggies in one layer on the baking tray (use 2 trays if necessary). Cook for about 20 min, until lightly roasted.
- In the meantime, slice the onion and mince the garlic. In a large pot, on medium, heat up 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Add the onions. Cook for about 10 min, until soft and golden. Add the garlic, cook for another 2 minutes. Add your tomatoes. Add the roasted vegetables. Add the fresh herbs in a little bundle, if available, or add dried herbs. Stir, cover and cook on low for about 20 minutes.
- Season with more salt, pepper, chili and herbs if desired. Serve warm!