Provencal Ratatouille a Traditional Recipe
This recipe comes from the kitchen at Remember Provence, an online boutique for handcrafted products from the region. Prepared in an earthenware casserole, this Provencal Ratatouille recipe enhances the ingredients’ flavours. Every family in Provence has their own recipe for ratatouille. Although the ingredients are generally the same, the herbs, cooking time, and methodology might change slightly.
Serve ratatouille warm as a healthy, tasty side dish to accompany grilled meat or fish. Alternatively, serve ratatouille cold with shaved parmesan cheese and bread in hot weather. Ratatouille is suitable for vegan diets.
What to serve with ratatouille? You can serve it with a slow-roasted lamb shank confit with honey and rosemary. It’s a delight!
What does ratatouille mean? The word “ratatouille” comes from Occitan “ratatolha” (or ratatouio, ratatoulho, retatoulho depending on the place). From the 18th century, the military used the familiar word “rata” to designate a stew of different ingredients of meat, bread and mixed vegetables.
Provencal Ratatouille Recipe
- 2 kg Ripe Fleshy Tomatoes
- 8 Zucchini
- 6 Aubergines or 4 big ones depending on size
- 2 large Red Peppers
- 1 Green pepper
- 6 Garlic Cloves
- 1 bunch Flat Parsley
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 2 branches of Thyme
- 1 cup olive oil
- 2 Yellow Onions
- Salt and Pepper
- Preparation of the peppers: Cut the red and green peppers into thin sections after having seeded them, without removing the skin. Blanch them in boiling water for a few minutes to make them more digestible. Remove from the water when slightly softened. Drain water over a colander.
- Meanwhile, trim the eggplants into cubes with their skin. First cut them in the direction of their length, then cut perpendicularly to get dice.
- Peel and crush two garlic cloves.
- Wash and chop the parsley.
- Lightly heat half a cup of olive oil in a skillet. (Preferably a Provencal olive oil!)
- When the pan is hot but not too hot (because the olive oil loses its beneficial qualities if it's burnt), sauté the aubergines with garlic and a large handful of parsley.
- Stir occasionally.
- Preparation of the tomatoes: Score the bottom of the tomatoes. Dip the tomatoes in boiling water for about 3-5 minutes for ease of peeling the skin.
- Wait until they cool to cut and seed them. You can fry the tomatoes with peppers or separately, still with olive oil and garlic. Stir occasionally.
- Slice the onions.
- In another pan, brown the onions with two tablespoons of olive oil, then add the peppers. After about 10 minutes, or as soon as the peppers have softened, add the tomatoes. Stir often to prevent vegetables from clinging to the bottom of the pan.
- Remember to check the eggplant, which should brown a little on the flesh side. Remove the eggplant from the heat once it begins to brown.
- Preparation of zucchini: Cut zucchini into cubes. Prepare two cloves of garlic again, and chop parsley.
- Brown zucchini cubes in a skillet over medium heat in the preheated olive oil. You can use a little less oil than for eggplant.
- Add the pressed garlic, and a good handful of chopped parsley. Stir often. Add a spoon of olive oil to the zucchini if necessary.
- When the zucchini is browned, season with salt and pepper.
- Stop cooking already cooked vegetables, and drain juices. Watch the others as they must not be crisp.
- Bake the ratatouille: When all the vegetables are cooked and drained, mix them in a casserole dish.
- Add thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
- Adjust the seasoning according to your taste.
- Cover and simmer in the oven (150C or 300F) for at least two hours (minimum). Stir occasionally.
- Serve and enjoy!