Hailing from Nice in the south of France, Ratatouille is a traditional French Provençal stewed vegetable dish. While it is traditional to serve it as a side dish, Ratatouille makes for an excellent main meal when paired with pasta, rice or bread.
The true secret in preparing this delicious meal is to cook the vegetables separately, ensuring they are full in flavour.
The following recipe comes from Thomas Paugam, a fellow WWOOFer and French chef!
- 2-3 yellow onions: cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2-3 red bell peppers: washed, seeded, and cut into 1-inch squares
- 2 eggplants: ends cut off, washed and cut, with skin on, into 1- inch cubes
- 4-5 mediums zucchinis: washed, ends removed, cut in 1-inch cubes
- 4 large tomatoes: peeled (plunging them into boiling water for a couple of minutes is the best way to loosen the skins) halved, seeded and coarsely cubed
- 4-5 cloves of garlic: peeled, crushed, and very finely chopped
- 2 tea spoons herbes de provence (basil, thyme, parsley)
- 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons of water
- Olive oil
- Warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions, the red bell peppers and a generous pinch of salt. Sauté for about 2 minutes and turn down the heat to medium until the onions have softened and are just beginning to brown (~10 minutes). Then transfer to a large pot.
- In the same pan, warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add the zucchini with a generous pinch of salt. Sauté until the zucchini has softened and are beginning to brown (~7-8 minutes). Transfer to the pot with the onions and peppers.
- Still in the same pan, warm 3 tablespoon of olive oil and add the eggplant with a generous pinch of salt. Sauté until it has softened and has begun to turn translucent (~9-10 minutes). Transfer to the pot with all the vegetables.
- Add the tomatoes, garlic, water, lemon juice, herbes de provence, salt, and pepper to the pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat, cover, and cook over low heat for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Uncover for the last 10 minutes to reduce some of the liquid and taste to check the seasoning.
It’s ready to serve.
Leftovers can be refrigerated for a week or frozen for up to three months. Ratatouille is often better the second day, and it can be eaten cold with fresh goat cheese.