The history of ratatouille has it’s origins in France (in Provence & Nice) & was peasant food due to the availability of vegetables out of the garden. It means “stirred up” or “mixed up” essentially. Traditionally it was often more stew-like & is still very practical & affordable to make. The way we arrange the veggies in this recipe make the end result more tidy & less mixed up. It’s all a presentation thing. You can certainly chop the veggies all up & toss together instead … the taste will still be magnificent! There are pictures showing various ways as well as the one described.
Did you ever see the Disney movie “Ratatouille”? I adore it & have it filed with my other “Chef movies”. I find it endearing that the mouse is named Ratatouille — he’s a french country mouse from simple upbringing –> which is a nod to the dish of the same name. I think that just as in French cuisine, so many of the classic recipes have their root in being “food of the people” and are not as intimidating as we might think!
What is one dish you have always wanted to make that “sounds” too hard?
I adapted this recipe from one I found years ago for skillet ratatouille. I LOVE ratatouille & hope you will give it a try as either a side dish or a great vegetarian meal. … BUT, don’t forget the loaf of crusty French bread, some great cheese & a bottle of table red wine! If you wish to serve ‘on the side’ instead of as a meal, may I suggest a roast duck, leg of lamb or veal? Then you can finish with a proper pear tarte tatin … Very French INDEED!
|Prep Time||30 minutes|
|Cook Time||60 minutes|
- mild olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic peeled & minced
- 1 26 oz jar tomato-basil pasta sauce (you will not use in all)
- 2 small green zuchinni cut in 1/2 inch slices
- 2 small yellow zuchinni cut in 1/2 inch slices
- 6 plum (roma) tomatoes cut in 1/2 inch slices
- 2 red or orange bell peppers de-seeded & cut in rings & then half
- 2 small eggplants cut in 1/2 inch slices **(see note)
- 2 small red onions cut in 1/2 inch slices
- Salt & Pepper coarse & cracked - the way we like it! as called for
- herb infused olive oil (optional - can use all plain)
- 1 T fresh fresh thyme ( or 1 - 2 tsp dried)
- Gather all ingredients & prep as directed (Mise en place)
- Preheat oven to 375
- Place cast iron pan on stove top & drizzle with a little olive oil. Turn heat on medium. Add garlic & sauté for 5 minutes. Add enough pasta sauce to put about 1/2 - ¾ inch of sauce in bottom of skillet. Turn off heat after a minute.
- Starting on the outside stack vegetables (on their sides) alternating vegetables in sequence. Repeat (see pictures for options here) until skillet is full. Drizzle with infused oil & sprinkle with S & P
- Cover with foil (trying not to have it touch the vegetables) & bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil & bake an additional 10-20 (now is also a good time for a sprinkle of cheese if you so desire)
- Remove from oven & sprinkle with thyme (basil or another small drizzle of oil & a sprinkle of good parmesan if you desire. Serve as a side to your favorite meat, pasta or alone with bread as a vegetarian entrée! ENJOY!
2 Comments Add yours
This looks awesome. Teresa and I will have to give it a try in our RV Oven.
IT IS delicious!! I hope you enjoy!