What would you do with a bowl of cut up seasonal vegetables? Ratatouille of course! Eggplant, courgettes (green and yellow squash) are the main ingredients for a scrumptious vegetable recipe.
Serving a Ratatouille dish during the summer months is pure bliss. Ratatouille, the classic French dish and not the movie, is usually referred as comfort dish. A mix of seasonal vegetables, cooked with tomatoes, peppers and savory herbs and spices is a delightful dish to serve on any day during the week.
Ratatouille reminds me of “legumes” a mixture of vegetables, herbs, spices, and meat or seafood. In Haiti, legumes are often times prepared without meat. In America, this type of stew is also referred to vegetable stew; the difference between both dishes is size and cut. In legumes, the veggies are cut smaller than in Ratatouille.
This hearty dish is best served with polenta, white rice, other grains or pasta. At home, I serve it with a grain dish, root vegetables, and even plantains. You may wonder why the root vegetables or plantains. It is simple! You don’t feel like eating rice, boiled or roast some root veggies and you still have a delicious dinner.
Try it with fried plantains! It can even create a great snack the next day if you have some leftovers. Your ratatouille dish doesn’t have to be fancy. The only requirement is you have to use fresh ingredients and fresh vegetables. No frozen food, please!
When reading the recipe, you will notice that it is not the same as the other recipes you will find in cookbooks or online. Ratatouille can be prepared with whatever you have on hand. You can add your preferred herbs and spices and even add additional or subtract vegetables. The idea is to create a Provencal Vegetable Stew as they call it in France. Use this recipe as a guide for making your own Ratatouille recipe or even adapt this one if you like it.
- 2 medium eggplant (about 1 pound total) cut into cubes
- 4 - 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion halved and sliced
- 2 or 3 garlic cloves very finely chopped
- 1 large red or yellow bell pepper seeded and cut into thin strips
- 4 courgettes 2 small zucchini and 2 small yellow squash cut into 1/2 inch slices or cubes
- 2 cups diced tomatoes
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Herbes de Provence
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Optional add ons: oyster sauce balsamic vinegar, or grated lemon zest
- Add 2 tbsp oil to the pan, add garlic, eggplant and cook while stirring for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Add 2 tbsp oil to pan, then add courgettes (small zucchini and yellow squash. Also add 1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence, salt and pepper. Occasionally stir for 7 minutes.
- Add 1 tbsp oil to pan, then add tomatoes allow them to cook for 5 minutes to release their juices.
- Now add your onion and bell peppers. Stir to mix.
- Add all vegetables, add remaining Herbes the Provence, season with salt and pepper and simmer gently, covered, over low heat for about 10 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking for 7 - 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until all the vegetables are tender and the cooking liquid has thickened slightly.
- Serve hot with a side of rice, pasta or root vegetables.