“Anyone can cook.” If you have seen the movie Ratatouille you know that this is the motto of the one and only Chef Gusteau. This motto definitely applies to this recipe. All that is required of you is to cut up vegetables and throw them in a pan. Easy as that.
Ratatouille is a French stewed vegetable dish and by nature there are five million ways to make it. The way I make it is obviously the best and makes it easy to eat as a main dish, side dish, appetizer, mixed in brown rice or quinoa, as a garnish, and basically any thing else you can think of.
I love to make ratatouille in the winter because it has a lot of hardy vegetables in it but now that the weather is getting warmer and local tomatoes are getting more and more delicious, it is a great time to go on a ratatouille binge again.
Added bonus: ratatouille is amazing leftover and my favorite way to repurpose it is to mix it in with brown rice and add some vegetable stock or salsa verde for a little added moisture, as moisture loss is only natural with leftovers.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 small-medium eggplant
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 zucchini squash
- 1 yellow squash
- 2 or 3 fresh tomatoes
- Fresh thyme
- Salt and black pepper to taste
Side note: the amount of each vegetable that you use is really up to you. If you love eggplant and loathe zucchini feel free to just add eggplant to your heart’s desire and feed the zucchini to your dog (is that healthy?). Unfortunately, my breath does not agree with garlic so I always leave it out.
Ok recipe time.
Step 1: Chop EVERYTHING.
Onion: medium dice. Garlic: minced. Eggplant: medium dice. Peppers: chopped. Squash: medium dice. Tomatoes: seeded and chopped. Basil: thinly sliced. Parsley: fine chop. Thyme: pull leaves off stems.
The size of the chop depends on your preferences but if you are going to use a different sized chop than recommended make sure to adjust cooking time accordingly (larger pieces, more cooking time).
To get a better idea of the size of chops I am referencing here are some pictures of prep::
Now it’s time for cooking.
Set a large, 12-inch sauté pan over medium heat and coat with olive oil. Once it is hot and the olive oil starts to perfume, add the onions and garlic. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are wilted and slightly caramelized.
I skipped the garlic but let’s just pretend it is in the pan too.
Next add the peppers and zucchini. Also add the thyme at this step to allow that flavor to start permeating the vegetables. Cook for only a few minutes, until the vegetables are partially cooked.
Next, add the eggplant and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Finally, add the tomatoes, basil, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste, and cook for a final 5 minutes.
Stir well to mix up all the ingredients and serve!