French Ratatouille

If you are what you eat, then I only want to eat the good stuff.

Ratatouille, sometimes referred to as Ratatouille Niçoise, is a French dish from the Nice region made with stewed vegetables. Our
Gluten-Free and Vegetarian French Ratatouille recipe calls for zucchini, eggplant, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, basil, honey, salt, and pepper.

Ways to Make Ratatouille

Recipes and cooking times differ widely, but common ingredients include tomato, garlic, onion, zucchini, eggplant, bell pepper, and some combination of leafy green herbs.

There are two basic cooking methods, one by cooking on the stove and the other by baking in the oven. In this recipe, we will be cooking our Ratatouille on the stovetop in a Dutch Oven.

There are two basic preparation methods also, on by thinly slicing the vegetables and stacking them on their side in a baking dish. The other method is by cubing the vegetables and cooking them on the stove or baking them in the oven.

How to Store Ratatouille

Ratatouille will taste better after sitting for a few hours in the refrigerator, however some like it hot off the stove. You can store Ratatouille in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

To reheat Ratatouille, bring it to room temperature first, then gently reheat it before serving.

History of Ratatouille

According to historians, Ratatouille originated in the 18th Century in the Provencal region of Nice. The dish is known as Peasants Stew was created by poor farmers with vegetables from their gardens.

The City of Nice, France

Nice is the capital of the Alpes-Maritimes department on the French Riviera and sits on the pebbly shores of the Baie des Anges. The city was founded by the Greeks and later became a retreat for the 19th-century European elite. The city has also long attracted artists like a former resident, Henri Matisse, who is honored with a career-spanning collection of paintings at Matisse Museum (Musée Matisse).

History of Nice

The first known hominid settlements in the Nice area date back about 400,000 years (homo erectus); the Terra Amata archaeological site shows one of the earliest uses of fire, construction of houses, as well as flint findings dated to around 230,000 years ago. A small fishing village was founded by the Greeks around 350 BC and named Nice.

Tourism in Nice

Nice also has numerous museums of all kinds: Musée Marc Chagall, Musée Matisse (arenas of Cimiez containing Roman ruins), Musée des Beaux-Arts, Musée international d’Art naïf Anatole Jakovsky, Musée Terra-Amata, Museum of Asian Art, Musée d’art moderne et d’art contemporain (which devotes much space to the well-known École of Nice “), Museum of Natural History, Musée Masséna, Naval Museum, and Galerie des Ponchettes.

Being a vacation resort, Nice hosts many festivals throughout the year, such as the Nice Carnival and the Nice Jazz Festival.

Nice Cuisine

Few cities have so many culinary specialties as the city of Nice. The Cuisine of Nice reflects its geographic location on the Mediterranean sea and is influenced by its historical ties with Italy. It relies on fresh vegetables like eggplant and zucchini, seafood, swiss chard, olive oil, and a long history of culinary traditions.

How to Make Ratatouille

Although it takes an hour and a half to cook this delicious recipe, it is easy to make and will delight your taste buds. This Ratatouille recipe calls for a lot of ingredients. It is based on one eggplant, as they are large it takes a lot of other vegetables to balance the meal.

We used a dutch oven to cook this recipe, you will need a large pot to cook this meal. It’s easy to make and tastes great.

Ingredients Needed for Ratatouille

Equipment

  • 1 Knife
  • 1 Cutting Board
  • 1 Dutch Oven

Ingredients

  • 2 large zucchini, diced
  • 1 large eggplant, diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 6 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, left whole and unskinned
  • 2 sprigs of thyme, stemmed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 2 basil leaves finely, chopped

Cooking Directions for Ratatouille

Time needed: 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Ratatouille Cooking Directions

  1. Prepare the Vegetables

    Wash the zucchini and eggplant, cut off the ends, and dice into ½-inch cubes. Wash the bell peppers, cut them in half, remove the core, seeds, and white flesh, and cut them into ½-inch squares. Wash the tomatoes, cut them into quarters, discard the seeds, and cut them into ½-inch cubes.

  2. Sauté the Onion

    In a large frying pan or heavy bottom pot, heat up the extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes until glistening and fragrant.

  3. Sauté the Bell Peppers and Eggplant

    Add the diced bell peppers and eggplant and cook for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally until soft.

  4. Add Remaining Vegetables

    Add the tomatoes, zucchini, garlic (in their skins), thyme, bay leaf, and a pinch of salt. Stir gently to mix. Turn the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for one hour. Occasionally, take the lid off and carefully wipe away the built-up condensation on the inner lid, and place the lid back on. This will help prevent having a watery ratatouille.

  5. Cook for 1 Hour

    After one hour, check the consistency of the ratatouille. If the vegetables rendered too much water, let it simmer for 10 to 20 more minutes extra with the lid off.

  6. Add the Honey

    When the consistency is right, add the honey and stir to combine.

  7. Garnish and Serve

    Garnish with black pepper and fresh basil leaves and serve warm.

The most difficult part of this recipe is managing the amount of liquid in your pot. If you have it covered too long it will have a large amount of liquid as the vegetables release their juices. When the dish is cooked uncovered for too long all, of your liquid will evaporate and your Ratatouille might burn.

If you liked this dish please Rate This Recipe and leave a comment.

French Ratatouille Recipe

Ratatouille is a delicious French vegetable stew whose origins are in Nice, France. Traditionally it's made with eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes. This tasty treat is typically served during summer when fresh produce is abundant. The stew can be served hot, at room temperature, or chilled.

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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Servings 6 servings
Calories 135 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Knife
  • 1 Cutting Board
  • 1 Dutch Oven

Ingredients
  

  • 2 large zucchini diced
  • 1 large eggplant diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper diced
  • 6 medium tomatoes diced
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 large onion peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic left whole and unskinned
  • 2 sprigs thyme stemmed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 2 basil leaves finely chopped

Instructions
 

Prepare the Vegetables:

  • Wash the zucchini and eggplant, cut off the ends, and dice into ½-inch cubes. Wash the bell peppers, cut them in half, remove the core, seeds, and white flesh, and cut them into ½-inch squares. Wash the tomatoes, cut them into quarters, discard the seeds, and cut them into ½-inch cubes.
    2 large zucchini, 1 large eggplant, 1 large red bell pepper, 1 large green bell pepper, 6 medium tomatoes
  • In a large frying pan or heavy bottom pot, heat up the extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes until glistening and fragrant.
    2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1 large onion
  • Add the diced bell peppers and eggplant and cook for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally until soft.
  • Add the tomatoes, zucchini, garlic (in their skins), thyme, bay leaf, and a pinch of salt. Stir gently to mix. Turn the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for one hour. Occasionally, take the lid off and carefully wipe away the built-up condensation on the inner lid, and place the lid back on. This will help prevent having a watery ratatouille.
    2 cloves garlic, 2 sprigs thyme, 1 bay leaf, ¼ tsp salt
  • After one hour, check the consistency of the ratatouille. If the vegetables rendered too much water, let it simmer for 10 to 20 more minutes extra with the lid off.
  • When the consistency is right, add the honey and stir to combine.
    1 tbsp honey
  • Garnish with black pepper and fresh basil leaves and serve warm.
    2 basil leaves, ¼ tsp black pepper

Nutrition

Calories: 135kcalCarbohydrates: 21.8gProtein: 3.9gFat: 5.4gSaturated Fat: 0.8gSodium: 118mgPotassium: 871mgFiber: 6.6gSugar: 13.3gCalcium: 55mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Vegetables
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Image Credits:

  • By the Barbarian’s Guide to Cooking – Copyright 2022, All rights reserved.
  • By Citrus – https://www.facebook.com/citrusnice/
  • By Tobi 87 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19405370
  • By Aeris06, Frédéric Oropallo – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=77492746
  • By Aeris06, Frédéric Oropallo – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=77492749
  • By Aeris06, Frédéric Oropallo – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=77492750
  • By Aeris06, Frédéric Oropallo – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=77492745

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