Ratatouille is a French Provençal stewed vegetable dish, originating in Nice. Recipes and cooking times differ widely, but common ingredients include tomato, garlic, onion, zucchini, eggplant, bell pepper, and some combination of leafy green herbs common to the region wherein the dish is being prepared.
Check out the end of this post for an awesome ratatouille recipe! But before we get there, let’s meet one of the most famous chefs ever to prepare this dish. His name is Remy:
Plush and Perfectly Cute!
This plush comes from the Parks as a Theme Park exclusive. It is so soft and huggable and he looks awesome in his little chef hat, or toque blanche (“white hat”), if you’re truly French. Although it appears the term has an Arabic origin.
Remy has been scouting my kitchen for the perfect utensils and appliances to create his signature dish. But first, he made some coffee before selecting… a bread knife? Well, maybe he needs that for ratatouille, what do I know?
And now for the promised recipe for the perfect ratatouille, at least, according to Martha Stewart:
- 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large eggplant (1 pound), cut into 1-inch pieces
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 2 large yellow onions (1 pound total), diced large
- 1 head garlic, cloves smashed and peeled
- 2 bell peppers (any color), seeded and diced large
- 2 large zucchini (1 pound total), diced large
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon fresh marjoram or oregano leaves
- 2 to 3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
And now the three-step process to create the dish from those ingredients:
- Step 1 – Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place tomatoes and juices on a rimmed baking sheet and use your hands to break tomatoes into 3/4-inch pieces. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil and bake until thickened, 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
Spoons down. Now we prepare more ingredients:
- Step 2 – Meanwhile, in a colander, toss eggplant with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Let sit 20 minutes, then squeeze out excess liquid. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat 4 tablespoons oil over medium. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until onions and garlic are soft, 5 minutes. Add peppers and cook, stirring, until crisp-tender, 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
How much salt and pepper? You’re on your own, chef!
- Step 3 – Add tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, bay leaf, and marjoram to pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover, and cook at a gentle simmer until vegetables are tender but not mushy, 15 minutes. Season to taste with vinegar, salt, and pepper. Remove bay leaf before serving.
Not sure if you can pull this off? Here are a few tips from the Master:
This recipe yields a batch big enough for these other recipes: Ratatouille with Pasta, Ratatouille and Baked Eggs, and Ratatouille Phyllo Wraps. It can also be served as a simple side dish or spooned onto toasted crusty bread. A-ha! That’s what Remy wanted the bread knife for!
Remy is known for thinking outside the cooking pot. Maybe this Ninja Air Fryer can be used to speed up the process and cut down on fattening oils?
Even though I’ve invited Remy into my home, he still hasn’t provided any dishes for my family to eat. What’s up with that? I’ve even taken to calling him my Little Chef, but apparently, he never liked that nickname! I guess it’s cereal for dinner again tonight.