If you’ve ever had a good ratatouille , it’s a memory that’s hard to forget. For me ratatouille means “family dish”. Large chunks of tender vegetables, impregnated with the ripe flavors of the summer sun. Juicy, but not watery, and with a rich savoriness that tastes more sinful than its virtuous ingredients indicate.
I need you to use GOOD quality ingredients. Like in every recipe: if you put garbage in, you get garbage out. The tomatoes and other vegetables in particular need to be ripened by the summer sun. The olive oil is also SO important because in ratatouille, it’s a seasoning. Use a bold cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil that tastes like the olives it comes from, stay away from “light taste”.
But most importantly, ratatouille needs time. Time for the garlic, onions and bell peppers to caramelize, making them sweet and developing the taste that seasons the rest of the stew. Time for the vegetables to soften, and of course time to coax the essence from each ingredient, allowing them to mingle and reduce before being reabsorbed by the zucchini and eggplant.
This is one of those dishes that get better when reheated. So don’t be afraid to make a big bash that you will reheat again and again (great to put in the freezer as well).
Let’s get started my frenchies !
Instructions for the showtime ratatouille
Yield : 4 serving – Prep time : 15min – Cooking time : 50min
What you’ll need
- 2 tomatoes
- 2 small eggplants
- 2 zucchinis
- 2 onions
- 1 yellow pepper
- 1 red pepper
- 3 garlic clove
- 250 ml tomato puree
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 branch of rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 branch of thyme
- Wash with cold water eggplants, peppers, zucchinis and tomatoes. Slice the vegetables with the mandoline (or a good knife). Try to achieve 4mm slices.
- Peel the onion and slice it with a knife. Chop the garlic.
- If you have “not so perfect” vegetable slices, cut them in small pieces, we will use them for the sauce.
- In the saucepan, pour the olive oil and add the “not so perfect” vegetables slices.
- Add garlic, bay leave and thyme. Mix regularly and let it cook on medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Add the tomato puree, salt, pepper et let cook for another 5 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaves and thyme branches, then blend the sauce.
- If the sauce is too thick, add a little bit of water.
- Preheat the oven at 180°C (350°F)
- Pour the sauce on the bottom of the baking dish.
- Add the slices and alternate the vegetables to create a beautiful “mille-feuille”.
- When all the vegetables are in the dish, add olive oil on the top and add generously salt and pepper.
- Cover the dish with aluminum and put it in the oven for 45min.
- Remove the aluminum, put the oven on “grill” and let the dish cook for another 5-7min.
*the links of the products I recommend in this article are not affiliated. They are my personal preferences and are only recommendations for cooking beginners.
Author: Emilie Durand
Emilie is a French food lover, proud Parisian and founder of thefrenchwaytohealth.com. On her website, she shares delicious recipes, health tips and tricks. Her goal is to gather and share the habits and rules that have been used and approved by French people for decades. That means cooking your own meals efficiently, enjoying whole foods, eating mindfully and never ever using the word diet again while losing weight.