Ratatouille is one of those dishes that people don’t make often enough. This easy ratatouille recipe celebrates vegetables and can be eaten on its own, with beans, pasta, on crostini or even as a side dish, much like my eggplant caponata recipe.
If you find yourself overrun with tomatoes, zucchini and peppers, this is the recipe for you. It utilizes all of the wonderful produce of summer in a healthy vegetarian dish that is absolutely delicious.
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Easy ratatouille recipe
This is about the time of year when people who are lucky enough to have prolific gardens start to feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of gorgeous bright red tomatoes and beautiful zucchini that their loving care has yielded. A problem I’d like to have, quite honestly…
Growing up, my grandparents next door neighbors had a garden behind their house. By the end of July, it was producing more than one family could eat.
Every summer we were the grateful recipients of brown paper grocery bags filled with tomatoes and cucumbers from his garden.
The trade off was the newspaper. One of us was sent next door to give them the paper every day after my grandparents had read it and in turn, every few days he left a bag of fresh from the ground veggies on the back porch. Not a bad arrangement.
Ingredients for ratatouille
There are many variations on this dish. Some call for sliced vegetables, some rough chopped, many suggest that each vegetable be cooked separately, some just throw them all in the same pot.
What they all have in common is the basic list of ingredients: zucchini, summer squash, tomato and eggplant.
As long as you are cooking, enjoying the process and the food tastes good… do whatever makes you happy.
- summer squash
- bell pepper
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
This is a variation on Julia Child’s recipe. I changed a few things to make it more to my taste, feel free to do the same from here. More of what you like, less of what you don’t.
Another big change to the traditional recipe is roasting some of the vegetables. Before you think “that’s crazy”, hear me out.
Roasting some of the vegetables reduces the amount of time you are standing in front of the stove (always a win). I’m only roasting half of them, so the rest will be broken down slowly in olive oil.
Trust me, it works. I’ve made the traditional ratatouille for the better part of my cooking life and I much prefer this way.
Ratatouille can be eaten warm, at room temperature or even cold. It is substantial enough to stand on its own or it can be served alongside roast chicken or tossed through your favorite pasta.
I have sandwiched it in a crusty ciabatta roll for lunch or served it on sliced, toasted baguettes as an hors d’oeuvre with a glass of wine. This recipe is the epitome of summer, there really is no wrong way to enjoy it.
So, next time you are out in your garden or like me, gazing wistfully at other people’s gardens, hands on hips, wondering what the heck to do with all of those little gems you’ve grown, now you know.
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- 1 lb eggplant, diced
- 1 lb zucchini, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
- 3/4 lb firm, ripe tomatoes, peeled & seeded, chopped
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- a few sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp minced parsley
- 1 tbsp basil, finely sliced (chiffonade)
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Toss eggplant with 2 tablespoons olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Place eggplant on sheet pan and roast in oven for 20 minutes.
- Toss zucchini and summer squash with 2 tablespoons olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Place zucchini and summer squash on sheet pan and roast for 15 minutes.
- While eggplant, zucchini and summer squash are roasting, heat a few tbsp olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat.
- Add onions and peppers to pot and sauté for 10 minutes until softened, but not browned.
- Add garlic, thyme & bay leaves, season with salt and pepper.
- Add tomatoes and cook over medium-low heat for 10 - 15 minutes until tomatoes have released their juices, then raise heat and simmer for several minutes to allow some of the liquid to evaporate.
- Remove eggplant, zucchini and summer squash from the oven and add to the pot. Stir to combine.
- Let simmer for a few minutes allowing flavors to combine, remove from heat and stir in parsley and basil.
*The longer you simmer the ratatouille, the more it will break down. If you like chunks of vegetables, don't let it simmer too long. If you'd prefer a stew of very soft vegetables, let the ratatouille simmer up to one hour.
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Serving Size:1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 129Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1750mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 2g
Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.
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