Every time we watch the movie Ratatouille (from Pixar) my 4-year old daughter asks me to prepare this dish for her. After putting it off for awhile, I did some research on the topic. I found out that Ratatouille is a vegetarian dish original from the regions of
and Nice in Provence . It is usually served as a side dish, but it may also be served as an entrée accompanied by rice or bread. There is much debate on how to make a traditional Ratatouille. I chose to simply sauté all of the ingredients together but some recipes call for the layering approach. Basically, Ratatouille can be as complicated or as simple as you want it to be. Here is my version of this traditional French dish: France
1 zucchini, chopped
2 ½ tablespoons of olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 ½ cup of sweet roasted bell pepper
8oz of pure tomato sauce
½ cup of chicken stock or water
8oz of crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon of butter
2/3 cup of onion, chopped
¼ teaspoon of dried rosemary
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
¼ teaspoon of dried marjoram
2 teaspoons of paprika
3 large leaves of fresh basil, chopped
1 cup of fresh parsley, chopped
1 dried bay leave
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a large skillet, heat ½ tablespoon of olive oil. Meanwhile, cut eggplant into 2-inch cubes. Cook eggplant for about 5 minutes over medium heat.
Heat olive in a large sauce pan over medium heat, add garlic and onions. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in eggplant and zucchini. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Meanwhile, in the skillet where you cooked the eggplant, melt butter and add mushrooms. Cook in medium heat for about 5 minutes or until mushrooms are golden brown.
Stir in the roasted bell pepper and mushrooms to the sauce pan. Add tomato sauce, chicken stock, rosemary, paprika, oregano, marjoram, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Add bay leave and simmer over medium-low heat for 25 to 30 minutes. Stir gently from time to time (be careful not to break the bay leave). Remove the bay leave and check the seasoning. If necessary, add more salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley and basil. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Tip: Mushrooms shouldn’t be cleaned under running water because they became rubbery and more difficult to cook.