Carolyne Kauser-AbbottProvencal RecipesSide DishTaste: Food & Drink

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 recipe for Provencal Ratatouille enhances the flavours of the ingredients. 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.

Vallauris Pottery French Riviera Casserole Dish

Serve ratatouille warm as a healthy, tasty side dish to accompany grilled meat or fish. Alternatively, in hot weather serve ratatouille cold with shaved parmesan cheese and bread. Ratatouille is suitable for vegan diets.

What to serve with ratatouille? You can serve with a slow-roasted, lamb shank confit with honey and rosemary. It’s a delight!

Provencal lamb-shank-confit

What does ratatouille mean?  The word “ratatouille” comes from Occitan “ratatolha” (or ratatouio, ratatoulho, retatoulho depending on the place). From the 18th century, the familiar word “rata” is used by the military to designate a stew of different ingredients of meat, bread and mixed vegetables.

Provencal Ratatouille Recipe Traditional Terracotta Casserole Pottery
Provencal Ratatouille Recipe
The traditional ratatouille recipe wants the vegetables to be brown in olive oil in a frying pan, each one separately. Do not peel them at all. All the vegetables are cooked with their skin to preserve a maximum of taste. Then, they will be mixed and will confit together in an earthenware casserole.
Provencal Ratatouille Recipe Traditional Terracotta Casserole Pottery
Provencal Ratatouille Recipe
The traditional ratatouille recipe wants the vegetables to be brown in olive oil in a frying pan, each one separately. Do not peel them at all. All the vegetables are cooked with their skin to preserve a maximum of taste. Then, they will be mixed and will confit together in an earthenware casserole.
Servings Prep Time
8servings 40minutes
Cook Time
3hours
Servings Prep Time
8servings 40minutes
Cook Time
3hours
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. Meanwhile, trim the eggplants into cubes with their skin. First cut them in the direction of their length, then cut perpendicularly to get dice.
  3. Peel and crush two garlic cloves.
  4. Wash and chop the parsley.
  5. Lightly heat half a cup of olive oil in a skillet. (Preferably a Provencal olive oil!)
  6. 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 the garlic and a large handful of parsley.
  7. Stir occasionally.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Slice the onions.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Preparation of zucchini: Cut zucchini into cubes. Prepare two cloves of garlic again, and chop parsley.
  14. Brown zucchini cubes in a skillet over medium heat in the preheated olive oil. You can use a little less oil than for eggplant.
  15. Add the pressed garlic, and a good handful of chopped parsley. Stir often. Add a spoon of olive oil to the zucchini if necessary.
  16. When the zucchini is browned, season with salt and pepper.
  17. Stop cooking already cooked vegetables, and drain juices. Watch the others as they must not be crisp.
  18. Bake the ratatouille: When all the vegetables are cooked and drained, mix them in a casserole dish.
  19. Add thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
  20. Adjust the seasoning according to your taste.
  21. Cover and simmer in the oven (150C or 300F) for at least two hours (minimum). Stir occasionally.
  22. Serve and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Several variants exist: replace the thyme with basil or add onions, according to taste. Making a homemade ratatouille is not complicated, it's just a bit long, but it's worth it.

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Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

With her camera and laptop close at hand, Carolyne has traded in her business suits for the world of freelance writing and blogging. Her first airplane ride at six months of age was her introduction to the exciting world of travel.

While in Provence, Carolyne can be found hiking with friends, riding the hills around the Alpilles or tackling Mont Ventoux. Her attachment to the region resonates in Perfectly Provence this digital magazine that she launched in 2014. This website is an opportunity to explore the best of the Mediterranean lifestyle (food & wine, places to stay, expat stories, books on the region, travel tips, real estate tips and more), through our contributors' articles.

Carolyne writes a food and travel blog Ginger and Nutmeg. Carolyne’s freelance articles can be found in Global Living Magazine, Avenue Magazine and City Palate (Published Travel Articles).

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