Recipe—Ratatouille

When most people hear the word ratatouille they think of a movie about a little rat named Remy who dreams about becoming a chef. Ratatouille is not just a very cute Pixar movie; it is also a delicious dish loaded with succulent Mediterranean vegetables that your family is sure to enjoy.

Ratatouille is a traditional French vegetable stew that originated in Nice. The full name is ratatouille niçoise. It is a flavorful, hearty, low calorie fare that can be served as an excellent main dish, to accompany a protein, or tossed with pasta. This recipe is a great way to utilize all those wonderful summer garden veggies that are in season. Aside from all the chopping this recipe is very easy to prepare.

I will state that this makes a pretty hearty amount so you will probably have leftovers unless you are serving a whole army. The leftovers are incredible, as the flavors seem to intensify with time. I made lasagna with my leftovers and I must say it is one of the best lasagnas I have ever had! The big chunky vegetables were awesome, especially when I paired them with Italian sausage and some ricotta. I will be sure to share that recipe with you next. Delish!

INGREDIENTS
1/4 c olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 yellow bell pepper, deseeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 red bell pepper, deseeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
15 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 c fresh basil, chopped

STEPS

  • In a large pot that has a lid, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  • Cook onions until soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in garlic and cook for about 1 min.
  • Add in eggplant and zucchini and season with salt and pepper.
  • Add 1/2 cup of water, cover, and simmer stirring once until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in bell peppers, cover, and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  • Add in tomatoes and thyme and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and cover.
  • Stir occasionally until vegetables are cooked to desired consistency. Mine take about 12–15 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, stir in basil, and serve immediately.
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