An easy ratatouille recipe, a deeply flavorful, hearty vegetable stew that goes wonderfully with meat or fish, or you can top it with poached eggs.
Ratatouille is a Provençal vegetable stew. It usually contains eggplant, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, zucchini, garlic, and herbs. The vegetables are cooked slowly in olive oil. The result is a hearty, comforting stew. It’s also very filling despite containing no major source of protein.
My version of ratatouille includes tomato paste, paprika and cayenne, for a subtle kick. The result is a deeply flavorful, earthy vegetable dish that goes wonderfully with almost any meat or fish, especially grilled.
Sometimes, similarly to my hearty vegetable stew recipe, I like to serve ratatouille as a main course rather than a side. And I often serve it topped with a couple of fried or poached eggs for a complete, healthy meatless meal.
This recipe is very easy. The only “difficult” part is prepping the vegetables, and even that’s not truly difficult. It simply takes a little time and patience. I enlist my kids’ help, and we all do it together.
Ratatouille is one of those dishes that taste better after a few hours, when all the flavors have had a chance to meld together. I often make it in the morning, refrigerate, and at dinnertime, divide among plates and microwave briefly, just to bring it to room temperature.
In fact, leftover ratatouille is excellent cold. I often have it for a lazy lunch with a couple of hard boiled eggs!
- 1 large eggplant, skin on (1 lb.)
- 2 medium yellow squashes (12 oz)
- 2 medium zucchini (12 oz)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt for salting the vegetables
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced (8 oz)
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Slice the eggplant, the squashes and the zucchinis into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Place on a tray and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Let stand 30 minutes to extract water out of the vegetables, then rinse and pat dry. Cut into a dice.
- Heat the olive oil in a very large, deep skillet over medium heat, 3-4 minutes.
- Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes.
- Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 more minutes.
- Add the eggplant, zucchini, and squash. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 more minutes.
- Add the garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, thyme, basil, kosher salt, black pepper, paprika and cayenne and cook, stirring occasionally, until all vegetables are soft, 5-10 more minutes.
- Allow the ratatouille to cool 10 minutes before serving.