This easy ratatouille recipe is packed with flavor and makes a great side dish…or sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on it and it can be a dinner by itself!
Getting my children (and my husband, if I am being honest) is always a challenge. While they are all getting better (my husband wouldn't even eat a salad when I met him), they still resist.
They would eat almost anything if I smothered it in cheese, but I am looking for a more healthy side dish – but one that still has plenty of flavor…and this easy Ratatouille recipe is just that!
There are so many different versions of ratatouille. This recipe uses more zucchini and squash and less eggplant, which is the way we prefer it. That being said, you can adapt it to your tastes and add or remove whatever veggies you want.
You can eat this as a side dish or serve it as a sauce over fish, grilled meat, eggs or polenta. It's also delicious as a bruschetta served with toasted Italian bread. You can also make this a meal by tossing it with cooked pasta and some Parmesan cheese!
For the absolute best ratatouille, transfer it to a covered container and refrigerate overnight. It's so much better the next day after the flavors have had time to blend. If you don't want to make it in advance, make more than you will need for dinner and you can look forward to some amazing leftovers!
The vegetables should be added in the order written in the recipe. Don't think you can throw them all in the pan at once and have the same results. It doesn't work.
Additionally, don't rush this. The vegetables aren't meant to be browned, so you'll need to adjust your heat accordingly. Ratatouille is like a ragu and should have some liquid at the bottom. You don't want that to cook out which can happen if your heat is too high.
Lastly, use good vegetables. This is especially true for your tomatoes. I used tomatoes ground by a local farmer, which are full of juice, sweet and delicious. If you cannot get good tomatoes, you can use high-quality canned plum tomatoes. You won't need all the juice though, so strain that out and put a new refrigerator for another recipe or freeze it
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 orange bell pepper, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 zucchini squash, diced
- 1 yellow squash, diced
- 1 small eggplant, cubed with skin on
- 1 large ripe tomato, diced (with juice)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Cube the eggplant and add it to a colander sitting in the sink. Sprinkle a teaspoon of salt over it, toss and allow it to sit while you chop the vegetables. Salting the eggplant draws out the water and firm it up, which helps it not be as mushy.
- Add the olive oil to a large (wide) pan and turn the heat on medium.
- When the oil is hot, add the onion and cook for five minutes.
- Add all of the peppers and cook for three minutes.
- Add the zucchini, yellow squash, garlic and spices and cook for three minutes.
- Add the eggplant and tomatoes and cook for two minutes, uncovered.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low, cover and cook for five to seven minutes, stirring frequently. You want the vegetables cooked through but not mushy.
- Turn off the heat and add the fresh parsley.
- Stir to combine and taste to adjust the seasonings.