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ratatouille


Ratatouille is the perfect summer dish. Vegetarians will enjoy it as a wholesome meal, and meat lovers will savor it as an accompaniment to grilled streak, chicken, pork or fish. I usually serve my ratatouille with couscous and a barbecued pork tenderloin (recipe coming soon!).

Chefs will often recommend cooking each of the ratatouille vegetables separately, which may make the dish more visually appealing but is not true to ratatouille's authentic, rustic origins. For that reason, and to avoid a mountain-load of dishes, I prepare it the traditional way: everything in one pot.

However, it is important to respect the order in which to add the ingredients: the eggplant needs to be fried first so that its texture remains firm, and the zucchini are added last because they cook much faster than the other vegetables.

Don't be afraid to add a generous dose of garlic and basil, as they will add a lot of taste and freshness to the dish. Also, here is a dirty little secret: if your tomatoes are not ripe enough, feel free to add one tablespoon of granulated sugar, which will remove some of their acidity.

       

Ratatouille (Serves 8):

1 large eggplant (or 2 medium eggplants) cut in 1/2 inch cubes
3 zucchini, cut lengthwise and sliced in 1/2 inch thick slices
3 large tomatoes, cut in large cubes
3 peppers, ideally different colors, cut in thin strips
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
fresh thyme
olive oil

In a large dutch oven, heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil at high temperature and add the eggplant. Brown the eggplant and stir constantly with a wooden spoon. Add more olive oil if necessary.

Add the onion, peppers and garlic. Cook on medium/high heat for 10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and cook for about 10 minutes, until the tomatoes start to render some juice.

Tie the fresh thyme twigs together with twine to form a bouquet garni. Add them to the vegetables and continue cooking for about 20 minutes, uncovered, on medium heat.


Add the zucchini and basil, and cook for another 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. At this point, enough water should have evaporated, and the ratatouille is ready!

Sprinkle some fresh basil leaves before serving.


4 comments:

  1. The presentation for your Ratatouille is just beautiful and the dish looks delicious! Thanks so much for sharing your awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday and have a great weekend.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

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  2. This looks almost too beautiful to eat. I bet the flavors are out of this world. Thanks so much for sharing at Inspire Me Wednesday. Featuring you in this week's issue.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Mel! I truly appreciate you featuring this recipe on MamaBuzz. And yes, it tastes even better than it looks...

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