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Ratatouille is a summer dish from southeastern France made of eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, and garlic cloves.
Ratatouille can be served as a main dish on its own, a side dish (pairs really well with any grilled meat or fish), or accompanied by rice, couscous, or a simple slice of bread. It is also delicious with fried egg or feta!
I prefer the traditional version in which the vegetables are cooked separately to enhance the flavor.
- 3 onions
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled and finely diced
- 2 eggplants*, cut in slices (¼ inch)
- 3-4 zucchinis*, cut in slices (¼ inch)
- 1 lbs tomatoes, peeled (see the following instruction), cut in wedges
- 2 bell peppers* (you can mix two differently-colored bell peppers), cut in strips
- 4 tablespoon olive oil
- salt, pepper, to taste
- 1 sprig of thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- basil (optional)
- To easily peel the tomatoes: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Prepare a bowl of ice water next to the stove. Remove any stems on the tomato and clean them. Take a sharp knife and make an X on the bottom of each tomato. Gently place the tomato in the boiling water for about 25 seconds. Remove them quickly with a slotted or spider strainer spoon and put them directly into the ice water. Let them cool off. Remove them from the ice water and peel the skin, starting with the X mark. Cut them into wedges and remove the green part on the top. Set aside.
- In a deep pan or pot, add 2 tablespoon of oil, the onions, and the bell pepper. Cook until they are soft. Stir occasionally. Add the tomatoes, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and let simmer for 45 min.
- Meanwhile, in a separate pan, cook the eggplant on medium-low, then the zucchini with 2 tablespoon olive oil each (about 15 min.). Salt, and pepper. The vegetables must be cooked and soft. Stir occasionally.
- Mix the eggplant and zucchini into the tomato, bell pepper pan. Gently cook for 10 more minutes uncovered. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Add some basil to garnish (optional).