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Ratatouille Recipe

Updated on December 28, 2014

Serve Up the Fruits of Fall in Ratatouille

Ratatouille is a peasant dish from Provence prepared with the fruits of Fall.

You make ratatouille with a variety of fresh vegetables, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplants (aubergines), capsicums (bell peppers), onions and garlic. It's a refreshing way to use up lots of tomatoes in the early autumn.

You can enjoy ratatouille hot or cold, as an appetiser, main course or as a chunky sauce over pasta, rice, couscous or noodles.

A Thousand Ratatouille Recipes

Don't get confused!

I'm sure everyone has their own way of making ratatouille - it depends upon what's in your garden at the time.

The basic ingredients are fresh vegetables, eggplants (aubergines), zucchini (courgette), onions, garlic, capsicum (bell peppers), and lots of tomatoes.

Are the Tomatoes Fresh?

Supermarket Tomatoes are too often Tasteless

If you can't get your hands on any tomatoes apart from the almost tasteless supermarket variety, then you'd better add some tomato paste or puree.

Taste the Ratatouille as you stir. (This is the best part of the Cook's job)

Each vegetable should be cooked slowly and separately before combining them all in one pot towards the end of the cooking time.

Cook Time

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Serves: 4-6

Simple Ratatouille

I'm giving approximate measures for these vegetables, it makes little difference in the end if you use more, or less, of one vegetable over another. If this is your first ratatouille, follow these measures (roughly).

Ingredients

  • 500 g - 1 lb of tomatoes
  • 500 g - 1 lb of eggplants
  • 500 g - 1 lb of zucchinis
  • 500 g - 1 lb of capsicums
  • 4 medium size onions
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Thyme
  • rosemary
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Slice the onions finely and chop the garlic
  2. Rinse all your fresh vegetables and chop them up roughly.
  3. Heat some olive oil in a large cooking pot and saute the eggplants. Put them aside onto a plate when when they're cooked through, about 8 minutes
  4. Saute the capsicums and zucchini and put them aside.
  5. Saute the finely sliced onions until they become slightly coloured. Add on the diced tomatoes and cook for about five minutes.
  6. Combine all the cooked eggplants, capsicums, zucchini, onions and tomatoes into a large pot with a heavy base. You can add your sprinkling of herbs now.
  7. Cover the cooking pot and allow the vegetables to stew (low heat) for thirty minutes. Stir everything down frequently until everything is merged.
  8. At the end of the thirty minutes, stir the chopped garlic into the ratatouille. Cook for another ten minutes. Your ratatouille is ready to serve.
Cast your vote for Simple Ratatouille

Cook Ratatouille on your Stove Top

To cook ratatouille on the stove top you need a heavy based pot

Enameled Cast-Iron 6-Quart Dutch Oven, available from Amazon.

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You can use the top of your stove to cook ratatouille, or just pop it in the oven. This is particularly useful if you're already using the oven for another dish.

Already Using the Oven?

Bake your Ratatouille

Don't want to stand at the stove stirring? (Remember the word ratatouille itself is from the French to stir).

  • Slice the onions finely and chop the garlic
  • Rinse all your fresh vegetables and chop them up roughly
  • Heat some olive oil in a large cooking pot and sauté the eggplants. Put them aside onto a plate when when they're cooked through, about 8 minutes
  • Sauté the capsicums and zucchini and put them aside
  • Sauté the finely sliced onions until they become slightly coloured. Add on the diced tomatoes and cook for about five minutes

Now, you place them all into a casserole dish for oven baking.

Cook in a low oven for about an hour.

Cook Ratatouille in your Oven - Pop it in and Serve

What does Herbes de Provence mean?

My daughter cut out a recipe for ratatouille from a magazine, a recipe which included Herbes de Provence.

I've seen dried herb mixtures in bottles called Herbes de Provence but I don't know what relation they may have to Provencal cooking. Some company began to market these in the 1980s but, apart from having a fanciful name, dried and packaged herbs really have very little connection with the original.

If we lived in the South of France we could use thyme, fennel, savory, basil and rosemary. Seeing as most of us live elsewhere, use fresh herbs which are growing in your region. Your herbs will suit your vegetables.

Thyme is common, and rosemary grows just about anywhere. My basil is a summer plant but I use a little mint in its place. To flavour ratatouille, use herbs which will complement tomatoes and don't be too heavy handed.

You can't go wrong with parsley. Italian (flat-leaf) parsley looks and tastes good in this dish.

Ratatouille on your Plate

Serve with some crusty bread. Delicious!

Ratatouille is great topped with Parmesan cheese! Use it as a sauce over pasta. Add mushrooms in the last ten minutes for a different taste

Add tofu and serve with steamed rice, or serve over noodles.

Ratatouille also freezes very well if you want to make up a batch.

More Vegetable Dishes

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I'm a slow cook junkie. UnashamedlyI spent years cooking for a large family and, though rewarding enough while it lasted, my time is now my own.....

You can Slow-Cook a Ratatouille in your Crockpot too!

I've often made a slow-cooked ratatouille. Here's my recipe which has worked well for me and saved me from hanging over the stove when I prefer to sit outside.

The full menu is chicken breasts with lime,cider and coriander (cilantro), zesty ratatouille of seasonal vegetables followed by rich chocolate Kahlua cake. All made in the slow cooker!

How about you?

Is Ratatouille the easiest stew in the world?

See results

© 2009 Susanna Duffy

Leave a Message for the Cook - All comments are truly welcome

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    • paulahite profile image

      Paula Hite 

      4 years ago from Virginia

      I love this dish!! I shared it on our Tumblr page today too!

      http://whats-cooking-at-squidoo.tumblr.com/

    • mariacarbonara profile image

      mariacarbonara 

      5 years ago

      I love the freshness of a good ratatouille and great herbs.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I have been thinking about Ratatouille and can't wait until the fresh veggies are more plentiful. I will certainly be returning here. Thanks.

    • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

      Nathalie Roy 

      6 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      Ratatouille is excellent as a side dish to broiled chicken. I also serve ratatouille with some cheese on top to make a more complete meal if served alone. My kids love it.

    • profile image

      TerriLorah 

      6 years ago

      Love this article...I never knew what this dish was, even after watching that show Ratatouille with my grand daughters. Now I think I want to make it.

    • PaulaMorgan profile image

      Paula Morgan 

      6 years ago from Sydney Australia

      I love a good ratatouille, totally agree with you too.... It all comes down to having great vegetables

    • GreenfireWiseWo profile image

      GreenfireWiseWo 

      6 years ago

      great recipe - thank you

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 

      6 years ago

      Ratatouille is one of my favorite french recipe, I am cooking myself from time to time...

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      great read, haven't read or seen a recipe on this, only saw the disney movie about it, thanks for the article.

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 

      6 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Love the colors - Ratatouille looks as good as it tastes!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      You're right there are a heap of different ways to make Ratatouille, I love them all! I must try your oven version, which is one way I haven't made it. Sound delicious.

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 

      9 years ago from Templeton, CA

      I love ratatouille! I have a microwave version, but I haveto use a huge dish for everything to fit. I usually grate Monterey Jack cheese over it.

    • profile image

      bdkz 

      9 years ago

      Yum!

    • momto4 lm profile image

      momto4 lm 

      9 years ago

      Looks like a great recipe!

    • profile image

      myraggededge 

      9 years ago

      Very nice.... and lovely photos!

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