What is Ratatouille?

Ratatouille is a French dish which originated from France. It is cooked with a variety of vegetables and literally means mixed stew. The ratatouille recipe is not that hard to follow. It’s an easy vegetable dish and it’s healthy too! Vegans love it and it is a good way to eat vegetables. It’s one of the most flexible recipes. You can substitute the vegetables with fruits if you want something sweeter. Let’s get through the recipe and start creating an aromatic and oozing ratatouille.

Pre-Cooking Preparation

Before we cook the dish here are the basic utensils and ingredients that we would need.

Cooking Utensils Needed:

Ingredients​

2 zucchini (courgettes)

2 tsp rosemary, chopped/minced

2 yellow squash

2 tbsp fresh basil (about 7-9 leaves)

2 small eggplants (aubergines)

1 tsp garlic, minced

3-5 tomatoes peeled

1 red or white onion

1 yellow or red bell pepper

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped/minced

4 tbsp olive oil (you can add more if needed)

2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped/minced

100 grams of parmesan cheese

Directions for Basic Ratatouille:

All vegetables (zucchinis, eggplants, and yellow squash) should be cut using the mandoline or manually chopped into thin and circular slices.

Sauce:

Step 1: Notch the tomatoes and blanch them for 30-45 seconds then place them in ice cold water and peel the skin off.:

Step 2: Slice the nicely peeled tomatoes in circular slices or you can also chop them. It depends on what you prefer.

Step 3: Slice 1 onion together with a yellow or red bell pepper. Get 5-7 cloves of garlic or you may get a head of garlic and finely chop them.

Step 4: Cook the prepared ingredients in a skillet under medium heat. Add 2-3 tbsp of olive oil and sprinkle 1 tsp of dried rosemary. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 1-2 minutes.

Step 5: Get a few pieces of the zucchinis, eggplants, yellow squash and tomatoes and add them to the skillet. Mix ingredients well and cook until the vegetables are a bit jammy. Remove from the heat and cool for about 1 minute and then put the ingredients into the blender. Add a bit of salt and pepper and mix to make a puree.

Note: If you don’t want to make the sauce then you can use 1 26 oz jar of tomato basil pasta sauce instead. You can have it spread at the bottom of the dutch oven or container you’ll be using and it will still give interesting flavors and results.

Mixing Everything Together

Step 1: Pre-heat the oven at 375℉

Step 2: In the dutch oven or container you’ll be using, spread a thin layer of the sauce all over the bottom of the bowl.

Step 3: Prepare the circular slices of vegetables in alternating colors. Slightly tilt it sideways and around the container like a big swirl until you reach the center. Pour in olive oil, salt, pepper and sprinkle some parmesan cheese. Put a little sauce on the sides and add a little seasoning of salt and pepper.

Step 4: Put a parchment paper as a lid cover and bake in the oven at 300℉ for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Step 5: Add the remaining herbs basil, rosemary and thyme by sprinkling them over. Serve and enjoy!

Directions for Roasted Ratatouille:

All vegetables (zucchinis, eggplants, yellow squash, tomatoes and onions) are chopped in even square slices. In this version of the dish, the cheese is left out.

Roasting the Vegetables

Step 1: Pre-heat the oven at 425℉

Step 2: On a baking sheet, put half of the vegetables: zucchinis, eggplants, yellow squash and onions. Spread them evenly across the sheet and season with olive oil, salt and pepper and sprinkle mixed rosemary and thyme herbs over the vegetables.

Step 3: Toss the vegetables to mix the seasoning and put it in the oven at 425℉ for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Check on the vegetables and toss them every 15 minutes or until they are evenly cooked.

Tomatoes and Garlic Over the Stovetop

While the vegetables are being roasted, prepare the remaining ingredients over the stovetop.

Step 1: On a sauté pan or saucepan, add 3-5 tbsp of olive oil under medium-low heat.

Step 2: Add a head of peeled garlic (unchopped) and slow-cook for 10 minutes until golden or nutty brown.

Step 3: Turn up the heat to medium-high and add the tomatoes. Add salt and pepper and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the tomatoes bring out their flavor and juices.

Step 4: Turn off the heat when done.

Combining The Colorful Ingredients:

Step 1: Put all the roasted vegetables inside the sauté pan and put the fresh basil you chopped or minced.

Step 2: Mix them carefully and evenly. You can see all the colors of the vegetables coming together and are fragrant and appealing.

Step 3: Serve with rice or crusty bread and enjoy!

Variations of the Dish

There are a lot of ways to cook ratatouille. Most of them involve using the oven but if you are okay with simply mixing the ingredients into a stew, you can simply use the stovetop and it would still be healthy and flavorful.

The following would be 2 videos that allows us to view the different ways of cooking ratatouille with different ingredients.

Chef Steps Confit Biyalde Ratatouille Versions

In this video the chef is giving the most basic steps of preparation including the sauce and also introduces fruity ratatouille.

Pixar Ratatouille:

Tomatoes in shingles

Zucchinis in shingles

Yellow Zucchinis in shingles

Eggplants in shingles

1 Onion sliced

Red Bell Peppers seeded and sliced

1 Head of Garlic chopped

Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 tsp of rosemary (minced)

Rootatouille:

Parsnips in shingles

Turnips in shingles

Rutabaga in shingles

Green apple in shingles

Cream

Appletouille

Granny Smith in shingles

Opal in shingles

Honeycrisp in shingles

Simple Ratatouille (No Bake Version)

Ingredients​

2 Red onions and sliced in wedges

1 bunch of fresh basil, leaves and stalks separated and stalks sliced

4 cloves of garlic, sliced

Cooking oil

2 aubergines sliced into chunks

2 tsp of vinegar

3 courgettes sliced into chunks

Salt and pepper to taste

3 bell peppers (can be in a variety of colors) - seeded and cut into even rectangles

1 Lemon (for the zest)

6 Small tomatoes (4 large ones) coarsely chopped

Creative and Healthy

In conclusion, ratatouille is a wonderful dish to make. It is healthy and delicious with its colors and flavors mixed together. The tomatoes make it ooze with juices; added with salt, pepper and herbs that make it very tasty. It can be modified into different versions and can also be simplified into a yummy mixed stew. There is no single ratatouille recipe but whatever you prefer, it will test your creativity as a homemaker.

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