David Scott AllenProvencal RecipesSide DishTaste

Provencal Ratatouille the French Laundry Way

Ratatouille defines Provence in a dish. There are probably as many recipes for variations of this dish that combines tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant and onion as there are families in the South of France. This Cocoa & Lavender variation of Ratatouille takes notes from famous chef Thomas Keller of the French Laundry.

Provencal Ratatouille Tastes Provence

Remy’s Ratatouille

This Cocoa & Lavender recipe was adapted from Thomas Keller's French Laundry cookbook.
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 5 hours 45 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine French, Provencal
Servings 4 people


  • 1/2 pepper red, yellow & orange bell pepper seeds and ribs removed
  • 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion
  • 12 oz (about 3) Plum tomatoes peeled, seeded & finely diced, juices reserved
  • 1 sprig each fresh thyme and flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 bay leaf fresh
  • 1 medium zucchini (4 to 5 ounces) sliced in 16th-inch thick rounds
  • 1 Japanese eggplant (4 to 5 ounces) sliced in 16th-inch thick rounds
  • 1 yellow squash (4 to 5 ounces) sliced in 16th-inch thick rounds
  • 4 Plum tomatoes sliced in 16th-inch thick rounds
  • 2-3 tsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp crema balsamica (balsamic glaze)
  • Assorted fresh herbs (such as thyme flowers, chervil, thyme)


  • Preheat oven to 450°F.
  • Line a baking sheet with foil.
  • Place pepper halves on the baking sheet, cut side down.
  • Roast until the skins loosen, about 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove the peppers from the oven and let rest until cool enough to handle.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 275°F.
  • Peel the peppers and discard the skins.
  • Finely chop the peppers, then set aside.
  • In medium skillet over low heat, sauté onion in oil until very soft but not browned, about 8 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, their juices, thyme, parsley and bay leaf.
  • Bring to a simmer over low heat and cook until very soft and little liquid remains, about 10 minutes. Do not brown.
  • Add the peppers and simmer to soften them.
  • Discard the herbs, then season to taste with salt.
  • Reserve a tablespoon of the mixture, then spread the remainder over the bottom of a 10-inch oven-proof skillet (the bottom should be 8 inches).
  • Arrange the sliced zucchini, eggplant, squash and tomatoes over the bell pepper mixture in the skillet.
  • Begin by arranging 12 alternating slices of vegetables in a pinwheel in the center, overlapping them so that 1/4 inch of each slice is exposed. This will be the center of the spiral.
    Provencal Ratatouille #Recipe @CocoaandLavender #TastesofProvence
  • Around the center strip, overlap the vegetables in a close spiral that lets slices mound slightly toward center.
  • You should have 5 concentric rings of vegetables.
    Provencal Ratatouille #Recipe @CocoaandLavender #TastesofProvence
  • Set aside. (All vegetables may not be needed – you can use the rest for a frittata.)
  • Drizzle the vegetables with 2-3 teaspoons olive oil, then sprinkle with thyme leaves and season with salt and pepper.
  • Cover the skillet with foil (I followed Keller’s directions and not Remy’s – he used parchment!) and crimp edges to seal well.
  • Bake until the vegetables are tender, about 2 hours.
  • Uncover and bake for another 30 minutes. (Lightly cover with foil if it starts to brown.)
  • If there is excess liquid in pan, place it over medium heat on stove until reduced.
  • (At this point it may be cooled, covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Serve room temperature or reheat in 350°F oven.)
  • In a small bowl whisk together the reserved tablespoon bell pepper mixture, oil, vinegar, herbs, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • To serve, heat the broiler and place skillet under it until lightly browned.
  • Slice in quarters and lift very carefully onto plate with an offset spatula.
  • Turn spatula 90 degrees as you set the food down, gently fanning the food into fan shape.
  • Drizzle the vinaigrette around plate. Use the crema balsamica to decorate the rim.


Serves 4 as a light entrée, and 6 as a side dish.
Remy's ratatouille #TastesofProvence @CocoaandLavender
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David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen is the author, photographer, and cook behind Cocoa & Lavender, a weekly food blog based in Tucson, Arizona. Passionate about travel, he especially enjoys eating traditional foods and learning local customs, whether in the United States or around the globe.

David's first trip to France took place when he was 14, and he returned as often as possible thereafter. However, it wasn't until his 50th birthday that he finally made it south to Provence. The beauty, history, charm, warmth, cuisine, and - of course - the rosé wines captured his heart. He shares his Provençal recipes here on Perfectly Provence, and his food and wine pairings monthly on the Provence WineZine.

David is a firm believer that sharing a meal with friends around the table is one of life's greatest pleasures. And if it happens to be in Provence, all the better!

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