A classic French ratatouille recipe that is vegan, gluten-free but has lots of flavour.
This ratatouille recipe is part three of a five-part weekly series on classic French cooking.
Classic French recipes seem intimidating because they require specific techniques but that’s what makes a cook.
Perhaps you don’t try this mid-week because it requires a whole lot of chopping but ratatouille is a great Sunday afternoon recipe listening to great music and maybe even having a glass of wine…or two.
While it’s considered a summer dish found throughout the Mediterranean coast it’s also great in colder weather because it’s warm and comforting without the heaviness of braised meats or stews.
Plus it’s a one-pot recipe so if you’re a lazy dishwasher like I am it makes Sunday evenings so much better!
This Ratatouille Recipe is a Bit Different.
Many great French cooks will say that you need to sautee each vegetable separately to enhance flavours.
They argue they won’t fit in a pot raw and therefore steam instead of brown.
Ratatouille is a country dish and cooking each vegetable separately would take far too long.
It’s why we love our braising pot, with 4 quarts you can layer the vegetables and they cook beautifully.
Where Does Ratatouille Come From?
Ratatouille is a traditional Provencal stewed vegetable dish from Nice. Like most of the world’s best dishes it is a rustic peasant dish.
While the authentic recipes tout specific vegetables this is really a dish for whatever vegetables are in season.
Although the Disney movie made the dish once again popular it’s technically not authentic, the recipe used is Confit Byaldi, which you can find in The French Laundry Cookbook.
But vegetable stews have been around for ages. Before ratatouille existed there was Bohémienne de légumes which only uses eggplants and tomatoes.
Not surprisingly around the world you’ll find many similar dishes to ratatouille:
- Catalan samfaina
- Majorcan tombet
- Greek tourlou
- Turkish briam
Ways to Use Ratatouille
You can eat ratatouille on its own as a side dish but it’s so versatile in other dishes. You can add it to pasta, or top it with an egg. It’s also amazing on great French bread.
- 1 litre fresh tomato sauce
- 20 leaves basil
- 1 large red pepper in sliced rings
- 1 medium red onion in sliced rings
- 1 yellow zucchini in sliced rings
- 1 green zucchini in sliced rings
- 1 eggplant in sliced rings
- 1 tomato sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1.5 tablespoons dry oregano
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Spread 3/4 of tomato sauce into a pan that will fit all of your vegetables.
- Begin to layer vegetables (i.e. tomato, then zucchini, then pepper) in a clockwise rotation beginning in the centre and moving outward. Don't worry about the order of the vegetables as you'll have more slices of some things than others.
- Fill in any gaps between the vegetables with remaining tomato sauce. Season with salt, pepper, and dry oregano. Drizzle with olive oil.
- Bake uncovered for one hour.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 87Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 524mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 4gSugar: 8gProtein: 3g
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although BaconisMagic.ca attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
Are there any other classic French recipes you love? Share them in the comments below.