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Ratatouille – French Vegetable Stew

30 mins Cook
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Copy of NomNom Recipes 1 89

Ratatouille is a French vegetable stew that at the beginning look looks like an easy, humble dish. however made nicely, it punches well above its weight, a summery stunner bursting with Mediterranean flavors! the important thing to a high-quality ratatouille is to sauté each vegetable separately before braising collectively. healthful, flexible, and now not simply vegetarian but additionally one hundred% vegan. Vegans have a good time!

Vegetable Stew Ratatouille – French Vegetable Stew

Ratatouille: French vegetable stew

I’m not going to lie to you. I was in no way one to jump up and down with anticipation at the notion of Ratatouille. You’d in no way seize me ordering it at a restaurant, and it’s not the first component I’d think of making use of leftover vegetables. It simply in no way sounded, properly, interesting.

How extraordinarily wrong I’ve been all this time. It turns out I simply never knew how to make it properly, and the way correct it can be whilst it’s far.
appearance, ma! In the end, developing up!

The single maximum important component that differentiates meh Ratatouille from holy-cow-this-top-notch Ratatouille? Pan-searing each vegetable one by one before bringing them collectively in a pot to braise. most recipes will have you (attempt to) sauté everything in one pot at the identical time but you may obtain a miles better outcome by way of cooking them one by one. This way gives plenty higher manipulation over how tons every vegetable receives cooked so you don’t end up with a pot of overcooked mush (the number one Ratatouille offense, right there!). you furthermore might get a few browning at the greens, and as we recognize, color = flavor!!


Ratatouille is a vegetable stew originating from Provence, part of France on the Mediterranean coast known for its warm climate and outstanding nearby food.

veggies grow in abundance right here, and many of the vicinity’s most famous dishes make the maximum of them. Nicoise salad, soup au pistou (vegetable soup with pesto), pissaladiere (onion and anchovy “pizza”), and olive tapenade are just several of Provence’s finest vegetable-pushed hits (recipes coming in the future, I promise )!

The maximum famous of all Provencal vegetable dishes though might need to be Ratatouille. at the start of a meal of the terrible, it’s miles a braise made from a medley of summertime vegetables: eggplant, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, herbs, and whatever else is at hand.

today it’s made much less for frugal motives and virtually because it’s a delicious, wholesome dish in its very own right. With a tomato-based totally sauce and gently flavored with a hint of sparkling herbs (thyme and basil, in this example), it’s a dish that celebrates superb produce. part of the spirit of the dish is its flexibility – it’s intended to make use of the summer harvest’s bounty, anything it might be. So for us current folk, it provides an incredible means to dissipate leftover vegetable bits and bobs within the refrigerator to serve up as a main or facet dish!

Bonus: You get to feel virtuous eating so much veg in one sitting!

What goes in Ratatouille

Here’s what I put in my Ratatouille, but don’t feel constrained to those veggies! while these are the most traditional Ratatouille inclusions, any suitable vegetables that can be sautéed will paintings a treat – suppose mushrooms, fennel, celery, squash etc. I clearly wouldn’t hesitate to throw in a handful of wiltable greens either (like kale, spinach and many others) if that’s what you’ve got!

  • vegetables – I used an eggplant, 2 capsicums / bell peppers (one pink, one yellow = coloration splash!) and 2 zucchinis (courgettes);
  • Tomatoes (for the sauce) – the usage of a fresh tomato to me seems appropriate for a dish like Ratatouille wherein the complete idea is to rejoice fresh produce, however sense loose to use canned tomato or passata. if you do, use a great logo please (I’m keen on Mutti). this is the sauce for this dish, so don’t spoil it with reasonably-priced, sour, flavourless canned tomato!!
  • Onion and garlic – the flavor base. You’d be difficult pressed to find a savoury dish in this internet site that doesn’t begin with those two!!
  • sparkling thyme and basil – Thyme is for the braising, and basil for a clean end. lots of options exist here so don’t be troubled in case you don’t have these genuine herbs. A sprinkle of dried oregano instead might be totally at domestic, or maybe mixed herbs for that depend. to finish, clean parsley would move down a deal with;
  • Olives – For little salty pops littered in the course of the stew. now not too many, so that they don’t dominate. They’re backing vocals here to the lead singer greens!

How to make Ratatouille

As tempting as it is to throw all the veggies into the pot and prepare dinner for them at the identical time, don’t! That’s the course to a big pot of flavorless mush. You truly can’t get any shade on them this way (they just go watery and stew in their juices) and because every vegetable takes a special duration of time to cook, you may inevitably overcook some.

  • Tomato puree for sauce – Chop the tomato and blitz the use of your equipment of choice. No want to do that if the use of canned beaten tomato or passata;
  • Sweat eggplant – Sprinkle the eggplant with salt then set it apart for 30 minutes to make them sweat. via this, I imply that the salt will draw water out of the eggplant, and also you’ll see little beads of moisture at the surface.
  • The salt also tenderizes the flesh of the eggplant and makes the eggplant take in much less oil when cooking. not unusual know-how additionally claims that salt removes the sour flavor in eggplants. however, the truth is cutting-edge eggplants have had any bitterness bred out of them so it’s no longer a necessary step today.
  • unlike when making eggplant “sheets” for things like Moussaka, there’s no want to pat the water off before cooking. it’ll just evaporate whilst we start sautéing. also, we need to maintain the salt for flavor;
    cook dinner eggplant – Sauté the eggplant over excessive heat in a big non-stick skillet for around four to five mins till you get a few excellent shades on them, however, they’re nevertheless a touch company inside and keeping their form (ie. haven’t collapsed into mush). No want to cook; they will end up cooking in the course of the braising step. the important thing element right here is getting some golden color on the eggplant – this adds incredible flavor!
  • as soon as accomplished, transfer the eggplant to a huge pot in which all of the vegetables will be blended to braise. upload every veg to this pot as you sauté them off. See beneath for why we use a separate pot;
  • Onion and garlic – subsequently, cook the onion and garlic till the onion is gentle and candy, approximately 3 to four mins. Then transfer to the pot;
    Capsicum/bell peppers – prepare dinner the capsicum for approximately three minutes just to cook them out of doors, even keeping them sufficiently firm at the internal so that they don’t turn to mush while braised. You gained’t get browning on the capsicum throughout this quick cook dinner time but that’s nice, this still enhances the flavor;
  • Sauté zucchini – Repeat for the zucchini, approximately three mins of sautéing. As with the capsicum, you gained’t get a great deal of coloration on them in the time it takes to cook dinner outdoors but that’s great;
    Braise everything – With all of the veggies inside the pot, add the tomato, thyme, salt, and pepper. mix well, and stew on low for 20 – 25 mins with the lid off till all the vegetables are becoming to recognize every different and are gentle;
  • executed! The Ratatouille must be thick sufficient that you could pile it up on a plate, but is still wet and juicy. Have a taste and upload greater salt and pepper if desired. you would possibly even want to honestly permit your hair down and upload a pinch of crimson pepper flakes for a touch of heart!

to finish it off, just stir the basil and it’s prepared to serve! either spoon it into a large shared dish for human beings to help themselves, or into man or woman bowls. I also like to feature a final drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and an additional sprinkling of clean basil.

Why sauté in a skillet and then braise in a unique pot? surely for a higher-end result. A skillet is right for sautéing right here thanks to the thick metal (higher warmness retention and heat switch) and its shallow facets. A taller pot meanwhile is wanted later to preserve all the vegetables to stew collectively. In case you try to sauté in the pot, it’s going to take longer and tend to stew in its juices because it cooks due to the excessive aspects, discouraging coloration. We need the stewing movement later, no longer whilst sautéing!

How to serve Ratatouille

Ratatouille is one of those gorgeous dishes that may be served both as a first-rate or aspect dish. It additionally fortuitously maintains for days, being meat and dairy-free. The pictured Ratatouille changed into ate up with the aid of me over the route of 5 days in various paperwork, consisting of as:

  • A meal in its entirety – In a bowl eaten with crusty bread at the side!;
  • A vegetable aspect dish alongside a protein-primarily based most important – white meats especially, ie. poultry, pork, or seafood;
  • Bruschetta/crostini – ok, whilst I wished you to assume an impressive platter of little Ratatouille crostini that I served to pals as a canapé at a French-themed cocktail birthday party, fact be instructed that did not happen. As an alternative, photo me piling some Ratatouille onto a (smallish) slice of toasted bread, which I munched on for a snack as I unpacked the dishwasher in my daggy sweat pants. That’s toward the truth – but it became no much less fun!!
  • A fluffy egg white omelet stuffing – Ratatouille rather than the asparagus stuffing inside the recipe. (PlayStation. Egg white omelets don’t get cooked around right here purposefully. They’re just a top-notch way to burn up leftover egg whites after making things with the yolks. I’m no cholesterol-looking obsessive!);
  • An accompaniment for fish (6-minute dinner!) – the fastest meal ever. I simply pan-fried a bit of fish and piled it over the Ratatouille. think about it as a salad, aspect, and salsa sauce multi-functional! So precise!
  • So, there you have it. these are just a few thoughts that indicate how Ratatouille may be the gift that continues giving. I can’t consider I ever idea it was so bland and uninteresting! don’t forget me a convert
Ratatouille – French Vegetable Stew

Ratatouille – French Vegetable Stew

Ratatouille is a French vegetable stew that at the beginning look looks like an easy, humble dish. however made nicely, it punches well above its weight, a summery stunner bursting with Mediterranean flavors! the important thing to a high-quality ratatouille is to sauté each vegetable separately before braising collectively. healthful, flexible, and now not simply vegetarian but additionally one hundred% vegan. Vegans have a good time!
prep time
10 mins
cooking time
30 mins
total time
40 mins




  • 1 eggplant (aubergine) , cut into 2cm / ¾" cubes (leave skin on) (~450g / 16oz)

  • 1/2 tsp salt , cooking / kosher salt


  • 3 tomatoes , chopped (~150g / 5oz each), Note 1 canned subs

  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 brown onion , chopped 1cm / ⅖" cubes (~150g / 5oz each)

  • 2 capsicum (1 red, 1 yellow), cut into 2cm / ⅘" cubes (~200g / 7oz each)

  • 2 zucchinis (courgettes), diced into 1.5cm / ½" pieces (~200g / 7oz each)

  • 2 garlic cloves , finely chopped (~3 tsp)

  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves , chopped (Note 2 for subs)

  • 3/4 tsp salt , cooking/kosher salt

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

  • 20 black olives , pitted, halved


  • 1 tbsp fresh basil , finely chopped, plus more for garnish (Note 2 subs)

  • Extra virgin olive oil , for drizzling


Sweat eggplant: area eggplant in a colander set over a bowl. Sprinkle with salt, and toss with your hands. leave for 30 minutes to sweat (no want to wipe off the water that beads on the floor).
Make tomato puree: vicinity tomato in a blender, meals processor, or different appliance of desire. Blitz until smooth. (No want to do that if the use of passata or overwhelmed tomato.)

prepare dinner veggies:

cook dinner eggplant: warmth 2 tbsp oil in a massive skillet over medium-high warmness. add eggplant and cook dinner for four to 5 mins, stirring often, till it is golden on the floor but particularly firm and raw inner. transfer to a large pot.
prepare dinner onion and garlic: in the identical skillet, upload another 1 tbsp olive oil. upload onion and garlic with a pinch of salt. cook for three minutes until the onion is tender with a hint of gold on the rims. upload to pot holding eggplant.
cook dinner capsicum: add every other 1 tbsp of olive oil and prepare dinner the capsicum with a pinch of salt for 3 minutes. It must still be a firm interior. You may not get an awful lot of color at the capsicum, but that is adequate. add to pot.
cook zucchini: add some other 1 tbsp olive oil and prepare dinner the zucchini with a pinch of salt for three mins. ensure it remains company (ie. uncooked inner). just like the capsicum, it might not pass golden. upload to pot.
add remaining components to pot: flip the range below the pot to medium-high. add tomato, thyme, olives, remaining salt, and all of the pepper, and mix. once the mixture is hot, reduce the warmth to a low simmer.
Braise: prepare dinner for 20 – 25 minutes with the pot lid off, stirring occasionally, until all of the veggies are cooked through and the liquid has reduced. The combination ought to be thick enough so you can pile it on a plate (ie. now not watery), but very moist and juicy.
Basil and salt: flavor and add greater salt if wished; greens can taste bland if no longer sufficient salt is added. Stir via basil then serve without delay, drizzled with greater virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of greater basil on top, if desired. function a first-rate with crusty bread or as a facet dish. See the above recipe card for more thoughts!


other greens – while the greens I chose are maximum conventional, don’t feel restrained to these. Things that can be sautéed and worked with the alternative vegetables will paintings a deal with. Assume mushrooms, fennel, celery, summer time squash. I wouldn’t hesitate to throw in a handful of wiltable vegetables either (like kale, spinach, etc). Tomato – It appears on-subject matter to apply fresh tomatoes for the sauce in a dish like Ratatouille! but you may virtually use canned crushed tomato (1 x 400g/14oz can) or tomato passata (2 cups). Please use a terrific high-quality one – reasonably priced is commonly sour and flavorless! I love the Mutti brand first-class, personally. different herb options: 1/2 tsp dried thyme, oregano, or blended herbs. Parsley, for completing. three. Sweating eggplant – Salting the eggplants previous to cooking softens the flesh so it chefs quicker and absorbs less oil. Contrary to popular perception, it does not draw out the bitterness because present-day eggplants have already had any bitterness bred out of them! nutrients according to serving, assuming 8 servings as an aspect dish.
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