Rave Reviews for Ratatouille (the dish, not the movie!) Check out our recipe!
Looking for the perfect dish to use all of that great summer produce?
When we used to live in the South of France, one of my favorite dishes for late summer/early Fall was Ratatouille. For those who have never tried it, its a delicious and savory vegetable dish that is quintessentially Provencal! It’s no wonder it is this region of France’s darling dish, as it is super versatile. It can be eaten hot or at room temperature, it is great with eggs for breakfast, a lovely light lunch when paired with a fresh, crusty baguette, or its a star side-dish with grilled meats for dinner.
I’ve kept my recipe simple, letting the flavors of the vegetables really shine though. It takes about 30 to 45 minutes to prepare. The key to French cooking is layering the flavors Don’t rush it!
1/2 chopped yellow onion
1 clove chopped garlic
1 red bell pepper, sliced into 1 inch pieces
2 zucchini's, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes (I just cut 1/2 inch rounds into quarters)
1 large eggplant cut into 1 inch cubes
6 tomatoes, chopped
Herbs de Provence (available in the spice section of most grocery stores)
Salt and Pepper
In large pot (clay works nicely if you have it), sauté onions with 2 TBSP olive oil for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Salt onions while cooking. Add garlic and stir for another two minutes or until onions are golden. Next, add bell pepper pieces and salt. Note, you will salt each addition of vegetables, as it will bring out each layer of flavors. Sauté for approximately 5 minutes. Next, add zucchini and eggplant. Salt this layer as well and stir. I usually add another tablespoon or so of olive oil at this time. Add 1 TBSP Herbs de Provence. Stirring occasionally, let cook for another 5 minutes. Next, add tomatoes (they will break down and become the sauce). Stir well, salt to taste. Lower heat and let simmer for approximately 30 minutes.
I like to add a crumble topping as well. This part is optional, but it adds a nice flavor and texture.
Instructions for savory Crumble Topping:
In small bowl, combine equal amounts of finely grated parmesan, flour and butter, and 1/2 portion bread crumbs. I find it works best if the butter is very cold and sliced into small cubes. Next, with your fingers or a fork, combine the ingredients until a crumb like consistency is reached.
Spoon ratatouille into casserole dish, cover with crumb topping and bake in 350 degree oven until crumble turns golden. Remove, let cool and serve.,
Don’t worry too much about the measurements. Feel free to adjust to fit your taste, just like the French grandmères do!
This dish is truly one of my favorites and reminds me of my wonderful life in Provence every time I eat it. I hope you love it too!