I feel like it has been a very long week and it’s only Tuesday. Work has taken a large part of me this week but nevertheless last night I decided to make Ratatouille: a warm, gooey French vegetable dish that says, “Comfort me.” I grew up eating this concoction of fall vegetables and as an adult I enjoy it even more with some hot sauce. The “not so enthusiastic cook” might want to save making Ratatouille for the weekend, however, I enjoy chopping vegetables as a form of stress relief. So I found myself wanting to chop, cook and simmer to relief some stress from work.
Ratatouille is a simple dish, but it does require some prep work as well as some cooking. The easiest way to make it is to chop up all the veggies up ahead and cook them in batches.
Peel eggplant and chop into bite size pieces. Put it into a colander with salt and let sit in the sink while you chop the rest of the ingredients.
Prep all the vegetables and keep them separately in individual bowls as they will be cooked individually.
In a dutch oven, heat up olive oil and saute onions until slightly golden. Add bell pepper, garlic and salt and cook another 2 minutes. Transfer to a clean bowl.
Add another tablespoon olive oil and zucchini. Season generously with salt and saute until zucchini begins to brown. Transfer to the bowl with onions and bell peppers.
Rinse eggplant of salt and squeeze gently to remove as much moisture as possible. Warm two tablespoons olive oil, add eggplant and saute until it has softened and turned translucent, about 10 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with zucchini.
For the final step, add chopped tomatoes, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf. Simmer about 2 minutes, return all the vegetables to the pot, combine gently and simmer at least 20 minutes or up to 1 hour. Season well with salt and pepper.
Ratatouille is best enjoyed next day when all the flavors congealed. It is even better cold.
Leftovers can be refrigerated for a week or frozen for up to 3 months.
- 1 extra large eggplant, peeled and cubed
- 1 1/2 large onions, chopped
- 2 large zucchini, cubed
- 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
- 6 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 fresh thyme springs
- 1 fresh rosemary sprig
- olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1. Add eggplant to a colander, sprinkle with salt and let sit a while you chop the rest of the vegetables.
- 2. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to Dutch oven, saute onions until lightly golden. Season with salt. Add bell pepper and garlic and cook another 2-3 min. Transfer to a clean bowl.
- 3. Add another tablespoon of olive oil and cook zucchini seasoned with salt until translucent. Transfer to the bowl with onions.
- 4. Rinse eggplant to remove salt and gently squeeze all the moisture. Heat two more tablespoons of olive oil and eggplant. Cook about 10 min. Add to the onion and zucchini mixture.
- 4. Add tomatoes, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf. Simmer about 2 minutes. Transfer all the vegetables to the pot. Cook at least 20 min or up to 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper.