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ratatouille
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RATATOUILLE - French summer vegetable stew

Delicious French vegetable stew, made from fresh summer vegetables. Tastes amazing with a crunchy baguette with salted butter.
Course dinner, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine French
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 260kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

  • olive oil for frying not extra virgin olive oil, or another frying oil, about 4-6 tablespoons
  • 2 eggplants / aubergines 1.8 lbs / 800g
  • 2 medium zucchini / courgettes 1.3 lbs / 600g
  • 2 bell peppers red and yellow
  • 2 large tomatoes or 4 small tomatoes, 1.1 lbs / 500g
  • 2 medium onions 7 oz / 200g
  • 10 cloves garlic yes!
  • ¾ cup water
  • spices: 2 tablespoons dried thyme / herbes de Provence or bouquet garni (a small handful of fresh thyme twigs + a few sprigs parsley + 2 bay leaves)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

ratatouille – stewed version:

  • Prepare all the vegetables: Dice the onion, chop the garlic very finely. Cut the eggplants, zucchini and bell peppers into ½-inch / 1.5 cm cubes. Pour boiling water over the tomatoes, peel them and cut into ½/inch / 1.5 cm cubes.
  • Pan-fry the vegetables: In a very large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of oil, add the onions, cook over medium-low heat for about 6 minutes, until translucent, then add the garlic and cook for a minute. If you’re using dried spices, add them together with the onions. Transfer the onions with garlic to a plate.
  • Increase the heat to the highest setting, add the sliced eggplantss, zucchini, bell peppers and 2 extra tablespoons of oil (add the eggplant first). Cook for approx. 10 minutes, don't stir for the first 2-3 minutes, then stir from time to time. The vegetables should slightly brown (at least the first layer).
  • Stew: Add the tomatoes, onion with garlic, a ¾ cup of water and fresh herbs (if using) to the pot, season lightly with salt and pepper, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, then uncover and simmer for 15-30 minutes more, until reached desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

ratatouille – pan-fried version:

  • Prepare all the vegetables: Cut the eggplant into 3/4-inch / 2 cm thick half-slices, season well with salt and set aside for 30 minutes. After this time, pat dry with paper towels (salting the eggplant can be omitted, but it makes, in my opinion, frying and browning easier).
  • Cut the zucchini into ½-inch / 1.5 cm slices, then cut them in half or in quarters (depending on their size). Cut the peppers into ½-inch / 1 cm strips. Dice the onion, chop the garlic very finely.
  • Pour boiling water over the tomatoes, peel them and chop into ½-inch / 1.5 cm cubes.
  • Pan-fry the vegetables: In a very large pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over high heat.
  • Pan-fry the zucchini, eggplants and bell peppers in batches: place the vegetables in a single layer in a pan (they can’t be overcrowded) and cook for approx. 2 minutes on one side and one minute on the other. The vegetables should be browned but not cooked through and tender. Transfer the browned vegetables to a very large pot and repeat until all zucchini, eggplants and bell peppers are browned.
  • Reduce the heat under the pan, add the onions and spices (if using dried spices), cook for about 6 minutes, until translucent, add the garlic and cook for one more minute.
  • Stew the vegetables: Add the chopped tomatoes and spices (if using fresh ones), cook, stirring and scraping with a spatula the brown bits at the bottom of the pan, as soon as they combine with the sauce, pour the content of the pan into the pot.
  • Add approx. ¾ cup of water to the vegetables in the pot, lightly season with salt and pepper, bring to a boil, cover and simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring from time to time. Vegetables should be tender, but still retain their shape. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • Calories count = 1 serving (1/4 of the recipe).
  • The stewed version of ratatouille: vegetables are in smaller chunks and have an almost jammy consistency. Great on its own or with a piece of baguette with salted butter or as a crepe filling or a bruschetta topping. You can also make a ratatouille with poached eggs.
  • Pan-fried version: each vegetable is pan-fried separately than all the vegetables are combined and stew for a short period of time. The vegetables are more crunchy and retain their shape. Serve with a piece of crunchy baguette with butter and pan-fried eggs or chicken breast on the side.

Nutrition

Calories: 260kcal