I had just received a batch of garden fresh zucchinis from my neighbor Jim and I was wondering what to make with them – something different you know. I’ve made soup, curries, cakes, and even zuccchini fritters but I was in the mood for something I haven’t made before. Ratatouille is the dish that came to mind because my friend Iya had been talking to me about how she made ratatouille recently and how her husband absolutely loved it.
Ratatouille is a hearty French Provencal country dish from the Provence region of France that is usually made in the summer. This very popular French summer time vegetable stew is made with fresh summer vegetables such as zucchini, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, garlic, and herbs.
I’ve always stayed away from cooking ratatouille as it looks like such a complicated and sophisticated dish to make, but when I saw that batch of fresh zucchini it just seemed like the perfect time to give ratatouille a try. Surprisingly once I got over the intimidation factor ratatouille was very easy to make, and the entire family agreed unanimously that it tasted outstanding 👌😋. Hitesh must have told me multiple times “You have to make ratatouille again! It’s delicious! Definitely an awesome recipe.”
There are countless recipes on the internet for ratatouille so how to choose the one that’s right for me? I had to pick a recipe that had veggies all beautifully presented like in the movie Ratatouille. That is my image of ratatoulle and I will never forget how beautiful ratatouille looked in the movie. Can I just mention that Ratatouille is one of my all-time favorite Disney movies! I absolutely love the movie Ratatouille!!! My friend Iya also had her version that she was eager to share so I ended up making my ratatouille with a combination of multiple recipes all mixed into one.
Here is a funny story about my ratatouille. I started of with a gorgeous presentation like in the movie, but ended up with more of a stew. Why? Because I didn’t pre-cook the potatoes and it just wouldn’t cook in the oven with all the other veggies, even after 1 hour. I eventually had to take the ratatouille out and cook the veggies on the stove, which meant my tossing around that beautiful presentation. So go ahead and make this dish like in the movie Ratatouille or cook it as a stew – either way it will taste positively delicious!
- 3 zucchinis cut into circles
- 3 Japanese eggplants cut into circles
- 2-3 medium sized potatoes cut into circles (par-boil potatoes so as to slightly cook the potatoes making it easier for them to cook completely in the oven)
- 1 large bell pepper finely cut
- 1 onion finely cut
- 4-5 garlic cloves finely minced
- 1 jar of marinara sauce
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 tbsp Fresh herbs such as thyme, oregano, and basil finely diced
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup wine (optional)
- In a large flat deep pan heat 2 tbsp oil. Sauté garlic and onions until onions are tender.
- Add nutmeg, bay leaves and bell peppers and continue frying the peppers until the peppers become tender.
- Next add the tomato paste and wine and cook the tomato paste and wine for 3-5 minutes.
- Add the jar of marinara sauce, all the fresh herbs, salt and pepper to taste and mix into the peppers and onions.
- Get ready to assemble the veggies. In a circular fashion lay the veggies over the tomato sauce. Sprinkle veggies with salt and pepper.
- Cover and cook in a 375-degree oven for 1 hour until all the veggies are tender. Ratatouille is ready!
- For a stew-like ratatouille, cook the veggies individually in a little oil and then add them to the tomato sauce mixture. Serve with French bread.
Ratatouille is a wonderful light and delicious summerime dish. Give this outstanding recipe a try!