Summertime veggies are here! Hopefully, your garden will be bursting with cherry tomatoes and zucchinis in no time. Or your local farmer’s market will have a beautiful bounty of gigantic zucchinis and fresh young eggplants to chose from. Ratatouille is of course the best way to roast up a big pot of fresh vegetables.
This recipe is the traditional French recipe. I like it because its simple to follow and it comes out perfect every time. The word Ratatouille actually comes from the french term “touiller,” which means to toss food.
Ratatouille originated in the area around present day Nice. It was originally a meal made by poor farmer’s (in essence it started out life as a peasant dish), and was prepared in the summer with fresh summer vegetables.
Serve it up as an accompaniment to roasted meats, braised or seared fish, or scrambled eggs. Or on a hot day, serve chilled with toasted crusty bread.
The first time I had Ratatouille was not in when I visited Nice, it was at my favorite restaurant in West Palm Beach, FL, called Pistache. My old friend Julien was the chef at that time and served Ratatouille with a fresh piece of Mahi Mahi. I swear my tastebuds haven’t been the same since.
Mrs. Jennifer Irizarry
My favorite way to eat Ratatouille is with a piece of fresh mahi mahi. I like it seared with salt, pepper and lemon.
- 1 large globe eggplant, coarsely chopped (I leave the skin on for the nutrients)
- 1 large zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more
- 3/4 cup olive oil, divided
- bundle of 10-15 sprigs thyme
- 1 large onion, halved, sliced 1/2 inch thick
- 1 red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes, divided
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup torn basil leaves
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Toss eggplant, zucchini, and 2 tsp. salt in a colander. Let sit 30 minutes, then pat dry with paper towels.
- Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy ovenproof pot over medium-high. Add half of eggplant and zucchini and cook, stirring constantly, until vegetables begin to take on color, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl.
- Repeat with 1/4 cup oil and remaining eggplant and zucchini.
- Tie thyme sprigs together with kitchen twine.
- Heat remaining 1/4 cup oil in same pot and cook onion, bell pepper, and thyme, stirring occasionally, until onion is beginning to brown and is softened, 8–10 minutes. Add garlic the last two minutes of cooking and stir constantly, careful not to burn.
- Add half of tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in zucchini and eggplant, then top with remaining 1 pint tomatoes (do not stir); season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer pot to oven and roast until all vegetables are softened and tomatoes have begun to burst, 15–20 minutes.
- Remove thyme bundle.
- Transfer to a serving platter and top with basil.
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appetite .