La ratatouille is a traditional dish from Provence (southeastern France). It is quite a hard thing to explain but somehow, this mix of sun-kissed vegetables, olive oil and herbs can make you feel like in a ray of sunshine even on a rainy day.
My children love this dish. They call it either “ratatouille” or “tatouille”. It is a brilliant dish for children and adults alike as it is really healthy, packed with an array of different vegetables and that it tastes wonderful.
I mean, if you watched the “Ratatouille” movie, you will know that this is with an elaborated kind of ratatouille that Rémy wins over the snotty food critic, bringing forth warm memories of his childhood.
It is a really versatile dish. Last time I cooked the below recipe on a Friday morning, we then had it:
- as a generous side with a roast chicken on Saturday (you can serve it as a side with meat or fish)
- in a tart (puff pastry, leftover ratatouille, tomatoes, leftover chicken, Comté) on Sunday evening. It was delicious. I served it with an endive salad using my mum’s vinaigrette dressing recipe.
- and I froze a small portion to serve over gnocchi as a super quick and easy lunch for my two toddler boys the following week- ideal when we come back from playgroup and I only have a few minutes to put together lunch for them.
A purist would tell you that vegetables should be cooked separately and then combined to be cooked together to finish but a mum’s cooking calls for simplicity and trust me this one-pot-all-at-the-same-time recipe is divine. As you will see I add the vegetables in the pan according their cooking time so as they are more or less evenly cooked towards the end. Finally, the fresher your ingredients the less seasoning you need. When I can get most of my vegetables from a farmer’s market I only add herbes de provence or thyme.
Fancy getting Croque-Maman latest updates directly delivered to your inbox? Simply enter your e-mail address below and click subscribe!
Feast on sun-kissed vegetables with la ratatouille.
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 onion
- 1 aubergine
- 3 red peppers
- 3 courgettes
- 5 tomatoes
- Herbes de Provence or Thyme
- 1 vegetable stock cube
Peel and slice thinly your onion and garlic cloves.
In a large saucepan (I generally use one of my cast iron casseroles but a large saucepan is fine as well), warm up the olive oil and gently fry the onion and garlic for 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile cut your aubergine and red peppers into dice.
Add the aubergine and red peppers to the saucepan, combine with the onion and garlic and leave to cook whilst you cut your courgettes into dice.
Add the courgettes to the saucepan, combine with the other vegetables and leave to cook whilst you cut your tomatoes into dice.
Add the tomatoes and, according to your taste, herbes de provences, thyme, a vegetable stock cube, tomato purée. Last time I made it I put thyme and a vegetable stock cube.
Cover and cook over a very gentle heat for one hour stirring occasionally and then uncover and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes stirring occasionally (most of the water will be gone by the end).