Sunday, January 20, 2008

Recipe: Ratatouille

Long before a digitally animated rat stirred up the imaginations of youngsters everywhere, this vegetarian dish warmed the hearts and souls of many a French worker bee. This easy to prepare dish is a welcome treat on a cold winter night, or any time you want a light, hearty meal without a lot of fuss. So, with grudging apologies to Pixar (grumble, grumble), I give you... Ratatouille!


  • I have used white cooking wine in this recipe to reduce the amount of oil necessary to saute the vegetables. This significantly reduces the fat and calories in this dish, making this an excellent low fat, low calorie and vegetarian recipe that will make your whole family happy.
  • Herbes de provincal is a mixture of aromatic herbs common in Southern France. This mixture is pretty tough to find in the States. If you can't find it, don't worry. I've found that 1/2 tsp basil, 1/2 tsp sage, 1/4 tsp rosemary, and 1/2 tsp oregano will work just fine.
  • Traditionally, ratatouille is sauteed and then finished in a casserole dish. I have lots of things to do every day, like playing with my five year old, doing laundry, and blogging for my wonderful audience (yes, both of you), so expediency is my friend. May it be yours as well.

So without further nonsense, here we go:

1 medium onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 chopped tomatoes or 2 cans stwed, diced tomatoes
1 large eggplant (aubergine), peeled and cut into 1/2 inch squares
2 yellow or green zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp herbes de provencal
2 tbsp white cooking wine

Saute the onion and garlic for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and eggplant, simmer for 15 min. Add remainder of ingredients, saute for an additional 10 minutes.

You can serve this dish by itself or over white rice, pasta, or orzo. Crusty french bread with pesto is an excellent compliment to ratatouille.


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