Ratatouille – A French Vegetable Dish that Remains a Classic

Ratatouille, vegetables simmered in wine and served alone or on the side. Either way, leave a comment on how your own creation of Ratatouille turns out.

We have all seen the movie Ratatouille, so if a mouse can make this dish, so can you. Prior to the movie, this French Provencal dish was popular in its own home town of Nice, France, where it originated. If you are a vegetable lover, this is your dish!

With the fall season upon us, the stores are filled with fresh fall vegetables just waiting for our kitchens and our tables. This dish is easy to put together and it has as many ways to serve it as there are Ratatouille vegetables in the recipe. It can be served alone or over serve it with rice, mixed with pasta or mashed potatoes.

The collection of vegetables in this dish along with the richness of the Ratatouille flavors only heightens this next recommended option of serving. You cannot go wrong having Ratatouille as a side vegetable dish to compliment your choice of meats. Add a roasted chicken with Ratatouille on the side; you will have a colorful and appetizing arrangement and the start to a warming and memorable meal.

Fall is the perfect season for soups and stews and so serving it solo with some French bread and butter works perfect. This is also a great leftover meal, like all stews, the flavors just intensify overnight and with a quick zap in the microwave, you will think it just came off of the stovetop. You may need to add more liquid into the dish the next day because it will thicken as it sits. You can add a cup of stock or tomato sauce to the leftovers.

Like all recipes, cooks or chefs, we each have our own method, style and approach to taking raw ingredients and creating our own interpretation of a meal. Ratatouille is no different, and I would like to share another chef’s view of this infamous dish. Robert Hill, Chef turned Historian from England adds his own touch to this traditional dish giving it a spicy taste along the way.

My thanks to Iris for her take on what is without doubt a classic and extremely versatile staple of French country cuisine. Whilst my recipe differs very slightly in ingredients and method, the end result is still the same, a wonderfully rustic vegetable stew that can be served as a delicious accompaniment, or as a fantastic meal in itself, especially good for vegetarians.

Iris’s serving suggestion, simply served with crusty bread and a glass of wine, I cannot find fault with in the slightest. It suggests a laid back relaxed atmosphere, on one’s own or with company. It encapsulates the very essence of the dish, simple, gorgeous food cooked to perfection, my compliments to Iris.

Here’s where east meets west and you should take a look at both recipes. Choose one of ours or create your own interpretation from both of ours. Either way, leave a comment and let us knows how your Ratatouille turned out. Bon appetite!

Here’s my recipe version for a stew. Since this is a stew version, you will want texture and color in this dish so cut your vegetables into large pieces.

Ratatouille Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 round onions chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic – minced
  • 2 Tbsp. of olive oil, enough to cover the bottom of the pot
  • 2 eggplant sliced
  • 2 zucchini – chopped
  • 2 bell peppers – sliced (red or yellow)
  • 1 can of whole tomatoes – 28 oz
  • 3/4 cup of a white wine
  • 3 – 4 basil leaves chopped
  • 3 – sprigs of thyme
  • Parsley chopped

You can use peanut oil instead of the olive oil. The peanut oil gives this dish a nutty flavor. You can also use green bell peppers or add more color and use the orange bell peppers. Remember cooking is all about what you like to eat! It’s also about what’s available in the markets and your kitchen.

Preparation:

Get your stew pot on medium heat, add the oil and garlic, put in the onions and let everything melt together. Next add the peppers, zucchini and eggplant and let them warm up, add a pinch of salt and pepper. Then add the tomatoes, herbs and wine. Let it come to a simmer for about 45 minutes and turn it down low and cover your pot, so that the flavors just blend together.

Serving style:

Plate your Ratatouille on the top of mashed potatoes, mixed with pasta and topped with cheese or serve it with rice. My favorite is to serve this dish as a solo meal in a bowl with bread with a glass of wine and dinner is served.

Enjoy!

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