Ratatouille is a classic, traditional French dish that consists of stewed eggplant, zucchini, onions, yellow squash, garlic, fresh tomatoes and herbs. It's an absolutely divine addition to any entree and takes only minutes to prepare! So bring a little bit of France into your kitchen with this delectable, yet simple vegan side dish!
What is Ratatouille?
In Provence, the Southernmost region of France, ratatouille is a standard and traditional side dish on most restaurant menus, that consists of stewed eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, onion, garlic and tomatoes.
"Niçoise Ratatouille," originally hails from Nice, where peasant farmers created this easy, yet delicious dish from the abundance of summer vegetable crops.
You'll love this recipe!
- Quick and easy - ready in 20-minutes
- Affordable - simple produce ingredients; easy on the wallet
- Vegan-friendly and low-fat- lightly sauteed vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals
Here's what you'll need:
Eggplant, yellow squash, zucchini, garlic, onion, tomato paste (not shown), tomatoes and herbs de Provence.
How to make it:
First, note that the eggplant is the last vegetable you slice-here's why: eggplant, like bananas and avocados, turn brown as soon as they're sliced due to oxygenation. To prevent the beautiful aubergine from turning brown, slice it right before you place it in the tomato mixture and cover the pan. This eliminates brown or gray eggplant and makes a pretty dish!
- Slice onions and squash; set aside
- Heat oil in recommended cookware
- Add tomatoes and onion to skillet; combine well
- Add tomato paste, garlic and water; bring to boil; cook for 3-5 minutes
- Add squash to tomato mixture
- Slice eggplant and add to tomato mixture; coat thoroughly
- Add seasonings
- Cover; reduce heat to low and allow to cook until eggplant is tender
You'll find traditional French ratatouille on almost every menu in the region. It's comparable to the American version of "steamed vegetables," (which is typically broccoli and carrots), but much more interesting and flavorful!
The correct type of cookware is critical to producing a beautiful plate of ratatouille! Eggplant turns brown if you use cast-iron, copper or aluminum, so make sure to use ceramic, non-stick or stainless steel cookware.
- Serve traditional French ratatouille as a side dish with your favorite entree, in an omelet or over eggs. The savory flavor of the dish complements beef, poultry, fish and pasta.
- Conversely, create a one-dish dinner with ratatouille and serve over pasta, rice or quinoa.
Traditional French Ratatouille
- 1 medium to large eggplant
- 1 cup onion chopped
- 1 medium yellow squash sliced
- 1 large zucchini sliced
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons high quality olive oil
- 2 tablespoons herbs de Provence
- ⅓ cup tomato paste
- 30 ounces San Marzano diced tomatoes - OR 4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- Slice onions and squash; set aside: DO NOT Slice eggplant yet (see Recipe Notes)
- Add oil to dutch oven on medium high heat (do not use copper, cast iron or aluminum cookware: see Recipe Notes)
- Add onions and tomatoes with their juice; cook for 3 minutes
- Add tomato paste, garlic and water to pan; add zucchini and yellow squash; combine well
- Slice eggplant and add to tomato/squash/onion mixture; coat eggplant thoroughly with tomato mixture
- Add herbs de Provence; reduce heat to medium; cover and cook 15-20 minutes or until eggplant is tender; salt and pepper to taste
- make sure to use ceramic, non-stick or stainless steel cookware; anything else and the eggplant turns brownish/gray