Ratatouille is a vegetarian stand-alone dish or a flavorful sidekick to a beef or game main course. Its roots trace back to Provence in the south of France, where it’s essentially a comfort food. Here on Food Republic, it’s an excellent chance to try out that herbes de Provence mixture we encouraged you to make in our Guide To Herbs.
Advanced cooks: What do you like to add to your ratatouille for that personal signature touch? Let us know in the comments.
- 2 pounds eggplant, cut into 1- inch cubes
- 2 1/2 pounds tomatoes, seeded, and cut into 1/4- inch cubes
- 1 1/2 pounds yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 pounds bell pepper, assorted colors, cut into 1- inch pieces
- 8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 cup (approximately) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons herbs de Provence, dried, if using fresh herbs triple the amount
- 1 pound zucchini, cut into 3/4- inch half moons (remove seeds from larger zucchinis)
- 1 pound yellow squash, seeded, cut into 3/4- inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Toss eggplant in 1/2 teaspoon salt and place in a colander. Let stand in the sink for 30 minutes. Pour eggplant onto several paper towels and blot to remove excess moisture.
- In a heavy-bottomed, 5-quart pot over medium heat, add onions and approximately 4 tablespoons of oil. Season with about 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook for about 4 minutes until onions are soft, stirring occasionally.
- Add peppers and cook for another 4-8 minutes, adding enough oil to keep mixture quite moist. Add garlic, cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, herbs de Provence* and about a 1/3 cup oil. Cover partially to allow steam to escape. Cook for 30 minutes until tomato starts to break down, stirring occasionally.
- Put eggplant into simmering mixture along with enough remaining oil so vegetables are quite moist, but not swimming. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Place zucchini and yellow squash in mixture and cook until they are just soft, approximately 6 to 8 minutes. Add pepper. Check seasoning.
- May be served hot, warm, or at room temperature. Improves when refrigerated overnight and reheated.
*If using fresh herbs de Provence add at the end of the cooking time just before serving.