Easy French Ratatouille (Summer Segetable Stew)

Here is how to make the perfect ratatouille, the iconic mediterranean vegetable stew, a traditional homecooking dish the French love to cook in summer.

Ratatouille traditionnelle, légumes provençaux

Ratatouille is one of French most famous traditional recipe, from South France Provence. I give you two methods,

  1. the first one is the traditional one, with vegetables cooked separately. Purists say that this way you can really taste the flavors of zucchini, eggplant and bell pepper. But it takes time.
  2. the second one much quicker, with all vegetables cooked together. I admitt I ofteh do it this way.

Cook for 20 min to up to 1 hour, 1 hour ½ depending of the size of vegetable slices or cubes, and if you prefer ratatouille with vegetables still firm or a bit candied, like a silky stew.

At home, we like to serve ratatouille with fish or meat and rice rather than potatoes or pasta. If you have leftovers, ratatouille is always delicious re-heated but you can also serve ratatouille cold for example with a savory loaf, such as my zucchni and feta loaf. It’s also delicious in an omelette.

Ratatouille traditionnelle, légumes provençaux

Ratatouille

Pan fry vegetables in olive oil, separately or together. Add tomato sauce and continue cooking, stirring occasionally.
Course: Side dish
Cuisine: French, Mediteranean
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Portions: 8
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Ingredients

  • 3 eggplant
  • 5 zucchini
  • 3 red bell pepper
  • 8 big ripe tomatoe or 800 gr caned tomato pulp
  • 3 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • herbes de Provence or a blend of thyme, rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil

Instructions

Prepare ingredients

  • Rince and cut all vegetables into cubes or strips.
  • Mince garlic and onion.

1 traditionnal method

  • Heat olive oil in 3 different pans or in a skillet one time after the other. Fry in each 1/3rd of onion and garlic with one of the 3 vegetable: zucchini, then eggplant, then red bell pepper. Season with salt, pepper and herbes de Provence.
  • When vegetables are soft, pour into a large pan.

2 quick method

  • Pour olive oil in a large pan. Fry onion and garlic for a few minutes.
  • Then add bell pepper, fry for 5-10 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Season with herbes de Provence, salt and pepper.
  • Then add zucchini, fry again for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more olive oil if necessary.
  • Finally add eggplant and fry again. Same thing adding olive oil if necessary and stirring occasionally.

Then let it cook slowly

  • Finally add cubed tomatoes or tomato pulp and bay leaves.
  • Cook for 20 min to 1 hour at medium-low heat. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
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