The first time I came across Ratatouille was in Rome, Italy so many moons ago. I didn’t know it was Ratatouille because at that time, the Italians didn’t speak English as they do now. I just found the appetizer interesting. Someone must have liked rats/mice so much that they made a hero of one in the movie Ratatouille. If there is one creature that you must not have in the kitchen – it’s a rat!!!
I highly recommend this tasty, vegetarian dish cause my sister Jane said, “It’s another signature dish for you Meg.” What I did instead is top it on a slice of freshly baked Ciabatta and used it as the sauce for pasta.
Eggplant, zucchini, peppers, and mushrooms sauteed then baked to make this vegetable dish that can be served over pasta or toasted bread. Perfect side dish for roasts also.
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups onions - cut into 1-inch squares
- 8 cloves of garlic - chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 1 ½ teaspoons herbes de Provence
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 bay leaf
- 750 grams eggplant - peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 can (400 grams) whole tomato - remove from liquid and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 small zucchini - peel and half and then slice into 1-inch half moons
- 1 yellow bell pepper - stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 red bell pepper - stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 100 grams button mushrooms - sliced into 4 pieces per mushroom
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 350ºF (175ºC).
Heat the ½ cup oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering.
Add onions, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper and sauté, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent and starting to soften, about 10 minutes.
Add herbes de Provence, pepper flakes, and bay leaf and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.
Stir in eggplant.
Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and stir to combine.
Transfer pot to oven and cook, uncovered for 10 minutes then bring out pot and mix in the tomatoes.
Return to oven and continue to bake, uncovered for another 20 minutes.
Remove pot from oven and mix in the zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and return to oven.
Cook uncovered, until zucchini and bell peppers are just tender; 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove pot from oven, and let sit until zucchini is translucent and easily pierced with tip of paring knife, 10 to 15 minutes.
Stir in 1 tablespoon vinegar, basil, and parsley.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer ratatouille to serving platter.
Serve as a topping for bread or as a sauce for pasta.