Just wanna let you kno..do you mean 'once the onions are translucent' instead of tomatoes?
Thanks! I fixed that error.
Michael - I've never had mushrooms in ratouille- either here or in France - but it might be an interesting addition.
It is often served cold in Provence, and I like to do that, too.
I once ate at a family's house in France where they served ratatouille over scrambled eggs. I don't know how common this is, but it was awesome.
I like my rat flavored with rosemary, instead of basil, if anyone is interested in variations on this recipe.
I am surprised that you put mushroom in the ratatouille. My advise is rather to add paprika.
When you do it with eggs and paprika it is called piperade it is a recipe from the basque country.
I love piperade - but have only ever made it with a little thyme - do you use Spanish paprika (I know the dish is from the French side of the Basque country!)
Wow, that looks REALLY good. I usually won't touch anything cooked with eggplant, but those pictures are convincing me to change my mind!
Also, on the subject of ratatouille--we're hosting a contest
over at Recipe4Living. Whoever submits the best recipe wins free movie tickets, so if you're interested, feel free to enter!
When I make Ratatoiulle, I always place my green pepper over the burner of my stove and turn it on to high, then turn so it blackens it all the way around, then scrape off the blackend skin with a fork or grapefruit spoon and slice, I add this usually when it is finished cooking, since the flame cooks the pepper.
Also, if you dice the eggplant, sprinkle generously with salt, let sit for 1/2 hour, then rinse and bake or cook, then it will draw out the moisture and stay more firm.
I really hate eggplant, however, it's looking so good I'll give it a try!
How much dried parsley/oregano should i substitute for the fresh in this dish?
My favorite ratatouille recipe is the one in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. It's time-consuming, because it includes a process of sweating the liquid out of the eggplant and zucchini before cooking them and then slowly cooking all the vegetables together in layers until most of the tomato liquid has evaporated, but when it's finished it's glorious and intense.
I've cooked with eggplant before and it came out bitter. Someone told me that I should always salt and drain the eggplant before using it to drain off the bitter juices... I notice that you don't do that in this recipe. What's the deal?
I've salted eggplant before to reduce the bitterness and it never seemed to work as well as suggested. After some experimentation, I now believe that salting eggplant serves the purpose of firming up the structure of the eggplant flesh so it retains its form better during cooking. This practice also helps mask the bitterness a little, but the bitterness is not greatly reduced. The practice of salting eggplant was probably practiced to firm up the flesh (as it is in many recipes) and then later was attributed to reducing bitterness. The real secret is to just buy young eggplant (at least the common and asian varieties are not bitter when young). Older eggplants (they feel lighter/hollower and may have skin that is more shriveled and not tight and plump) tend to be much more bitter. Some other varieties of eggplant may also tend to be bitter too. Avoid these for this dish.
If you wish the diced eggplant to retain their shape more in this dish, then spend the time to salt them (slice them into rounds and sprinkle salt on them and let them sit on a wire rack set in a sheet pan for 1 to 2 hours). This should draw out some of the liquid (you'll see a little bit in the pan if you're lucky) but mostly serve to draw moisture out of the cells and into the gaps between them. This helps prevent the eggplant from soaking up an excessive amount of liquid and oil which leads to their falling apart. At this point, just rinse off the excess salt and dice.
I always cut my eggplant into thick rounds, and salt it. I then cover it with a heavy plate and maybe a thick book to weight it down, it only takes about 30 minutes to get the liquids out. To me, this makes a big difference in the taste of eggplant...no bitterness. I then rinse the eggplant and use it in my recipe.
Oops, I posted this in the off-topic rattatouille thread but it really belongs in the recipe article.
This is the recipe Thomas Keller developed for confit byaldi (rattatouille) that appears in the movie.
re: eggplant - a simple way to avoid all the salting and rinsing is this - once the onions garlic etc are done add the eggplant separately and cook for a while before adding any other ingredients - this will remove the bitterness as it will cook off the fluid. Likewise if using green peppers/capiscum - personally I always go for red, yellow or orange.
Another thing to try - if you have the time - cook all the ingredients separately (with exception of mushrooms and garlic - great together) - only combine with the tomatoes at the end, a great tip from Keith Floyd, makes for a great flavour.
One last thing - never, ever forget a good healthy dose of red wine :-)
But, why would anyone ever saute their minced garlic [u:cac403ae2a]before[/u:cac403ae2a] their onions? Any good chef will tell you that your garlic will be apt to burn especially in an olive oil which boils hotter than some other oils (like vegetable, canola, and others).
And, while we're on the topic of saute and flavour, you might want to experiment with a very small amount of sesame oil - it also boils very hot but it adds a beautiful aroma to the ratatouille.
Happy cooking, y'all.
How did you format this recipe card this way? I would like my recipe cards in this layout. Thanks for any tips.
If you dump your ratatouille in a buttered casserole and sprinkle it with parmesan cheese, it is the bomb! Bake for about half an hour at 350 degrees.
But, why would anyone ever saute their minced garlic before their onions? Any good chef will tell you that your garlic will be apt to burn especially in an olive oil which boils hotter than some other oils (like vegetable, canola, and others).
This bothered me when I read it, but I didn't respond because the comment wasn't worth dignifying with a response. Any good chef would know how to saute their garlic before onions without burning the former. My mom often cooks this way--its gives the garlic time to release a deeper flavor, as my chef-instructors in cooking school taught me. And if there need be anymore proof, I give you an excerpt from the venerable James Beard's Beard on Food as he delivers his own Ratatouille recipe to his readers:
First, heat 1/2 cup oil--it can be olive or peanut oil, but olive oil definitely gives the best taste--in a heavy skillet and very gently saute 5 finely chopped garlic cloves. Add 1 1/2 cups chopped onion, and let that melt down and blend with the garlic ...
I've cooked your recipe a few times, always with the garlic first, as directed, and never burned my garlic once. Watch your temperature, and push the garlic around as needed--easy as that. Thank you for your recipe--it's awesome!
What is that lovely pan you are using to cook it in?
That's an All-Clad Stainless 8-qt. Stock Pot. One of my favorite pots to cook in - lots of space and high sides that keep messes contained. Thick aluminum clad with stainless makes it easy to see if food is browning and evenly heats so nothing burns - even when I stop stirring to take pictures.
Hi, that recipe really looks great, but I was wondering, of course, referring to the animated movie Ratatouille, I believe you have seen it already, I am very curious about the way he cooked ratatouille, by baking, with the sauce, which I think it might be tomatoes rather sweet. He put those pieces of vegetables without leaveing any space in between, and at the end put a flour wrapping on it, to reserve the water and flavour, to keep them sweet and soft. Is that anyway you can try it? I might be wrong about the theory. But it seems to be a very interesting method and it gives a very good appetite. I couldn't resist from it when I saw it on the movie.
Regrads, thank you for the recipe anyway, and sorry about my english.
Au revoir. Martin.
The recipe from the New York Times (the link posted previously by Phong, above) is for Confit Byaldi and there is a short feature on the DVD if you rent the movie that shows Chef Thomas Keller making the recipe.
I made it last weekend and it was great. I don't understand about the "flour wrapper" though.
By the way, if anyone is under the illusion that the rat quickly knocked this out, there must have been several bottles of wine imbibed by the patron while he was waiting for this dish. It takes quite a while to make. Although it is very simple, there is a lot of prep work and it cooks a long time.
Hi! Just read your recipe and this sounds delicious! I am so glad I came across your website and forwarded it to my husband immediately, as he LOVES to cook, and is getting better than I am, altho will never admit it! I had Ratatouille once when I was a child (yes, I loved my veggies and still do!) and thought it was the best thing my Mom ever made, and she never made it again since that day. Go figure! I agree eating cold or room temp with toasted baguette or sliced french bread is delicious. There is a russian dish that is mostly eggplant, called "Ekra" that we cook, and it's always better the next day, cold or room temperature, made with eggplant, garlic, onion, tomato paste and ketchup (shhhh, ketchup really is a fabulous seasoning to cook with, or catsup, however you want to spell it). Thank you so much for sharing the recipe, and how you lay out the ingredients, cooking times, pictures, and the final recipe on the bottom of the page.
I just finished watching the movie Ratatouille and promptly found this site.
Being both an engineer and a good cook, I could imagine the flavors building and blending into one great dish as I read the receipe. I would like to write more but my stomach is growling, my mouth is watering and I am on my way out the door to buy the ingredients for tonights dinner...ratatouille. :lol:
In the delightful movie, the critic Ego asks for a glass of chavel blanc 1947. That is on Forbes list for the 10 most expensive wines at $33,781 for 750ml. Earlier he asks for Chateau La tour1961 that goes for E11,713.a bottle am i missing the irony of a so called peasant dish and expensive wine or is this just thrown in as part of the movie to impress us with theeducated test of the critic. my son Jimmy is a chef in Cincinnatti and he is making this for my Christmas present, the so called "peasant dish".
loved your ratatouille recipe. it was the best I ever made, helped of course by delicious Japanese eggplant and other locally grown ingredients here in Hawaii where I am vacationing. I found your site by accident- love the photos and clarity- have told my kids to check it out. thanks
is there a recipe on how to make ratatouille so it looks just like what was in the pixar cartoon movie?
American chef Thomas Keller invented a contemporary variation, confit byaldi, for the film Ratatouille. Please go to the following link for more info:
Just made it, it is really good, i dont usually like egg plant.
I love the site, the recipes are easy to follow and ingredients are simple!
Ego ordered the Blanc 41 before he knew what he was eating. He was assuming the dish would be of extravagant origins, which made the Chef's choice all the more surprising. (And a great reminder of the emotional connection we can have to food)
Concerning Ms.Tina Hart comment I believe all vegetable dishes or meats and vegetables for that matter will have more flavor and better taste the day after. As my mother used to say the dish flavors will settle and blend better after a day has past.
As a frustrated engineer and would be cook I love your site
That doesn't make sense. How does merely evaporating the water out of the eggplant remove the bitter component that will remain in the pan? And once you add other liquids, it will be reinfused into the moisture.
From the responses I've read and from my experience, I think the salting will work, if you are patient and remove enough liquid. That means you need enough salt. You can actually take the eggplant and squeeze it as hard as you want, like a sponge, to get even more of liquid out. This is more appropriate for when you want to deep-fry eggplant, but it will get lots of moisture out.
If you keep squeezing the moisture out of the eggplants and then simmer the veggies for a long time in the pot, won't all the nutrients evaporate as well? What will the nutritive value of ratatouille be?
that eggplant is bitter may actually no longer be true - improved varieties do not demonstrate such a strong tendency. at one time, peeling eggplant was considered "mandatory" due to "bitterness" - that is definitely no longer true in my first hand experience.
salting the eggplant to remove water has another effect: slices / pieces maintain their shape and consistency better vs. going to mush when cooked.
same with sliced cucumbers in german cucumber salad - slice, salt, allow to stand & drain water keeps them crispier & crunchier.
My mother-in-law taught me how to remove the bitterness of eggplant and I find it works very well. Slice the eggplant and layer on a baking sheet. Next sprinkle sugar lightly over all and let set for an hour. Rinse well before preparing your dish or the eggplant will be sweet. This method also firms up the flesh. I love this site.
Im plannıng on makıng thıs dısh for dınner tomorrow evening for my husband and frıend. The only thıng ıs we all hate parsley and was wonderıng what would be a good alternatıve. Also I only have drıed basıl so how much of that should I use ınstead ıf fresh??? Thanks cant waıt to get cookıng.
A good substitute for parsley is finely cut, fresh celery leaves to be used in small amounts as it is stronger tasting than parsley. Concerning the bitterness of the aubergine it is less so if one uses new or fresh ones, also I neutralize the bitterness by adding slices of apple on top of the aubergine when cooking the ingredients the way Remy did
I happened to make Ratatouille the other night, and had really excellent results. The recipe I used did not use broth - and alternately used fresh tomatoes and no stock of any kind. Also - after browning the onions and eggplant, and adding the rest of the veges the cooking was finished in the oven with an herb garni. I'm sure there are 100s of variations on this, but have you ever tried it this way? My results were very stellar.
"Once some of the paste starts to still to the pan and brown, it's time to add the stock (about one minute)."
"still" = "stick", correct?
Stick is correct. I've correct the article.
"correct" => "corrected", right?
Okay, why would salting or sugaring make the flesh of the vegetable more durable? I know it does with pickles, but what is happening?
Hahahaha. Yep, another typo caught! I have not corrected this one. :)
>>but what is happening?
don't know about sugar, not done that
but salt causes "stuff" to lose moisture - salt cured meats, etc.
natrium did a pretty good job on Egyptian mummies . . .
salt reduces spoilage - as in meats by less water to aid rot & pH changes which discourages the bacterial bugs.
for stuff like cucumbers the extracted water leaves the remaining cells crisper over time.
the exact bio-<whatever> / chemical reactions are not my expertise . . .
Well I am not French, but Italian and can tell you that when cooking eggplant, we always salt the pieces and let them sweat for an hour or two. Ratatuile might very well be the equivalent of our Caponata Siciliana. In our Caponata, even with all the salting, we still add a bit of sugar when frying the eggplant. Nevertheless, it's a great recipe and as long as you enjoy your version, who's to say au contrarie! :)
Hi! thank you Micheal.
We are an engaged couple and Ratatouille has a special meaning for us since it is the first movie that we have gone together ;)
I think it will be our special meal during our marrige :)
It seems delicious :)
And it sounds good to mcook this delicious meal with your love :)
I made a very similar dish (without eggplant) recently but for seasoning I used roasted red pepper and garlic (dry spice) as well as Balti (an Indian spice mixture). I served it with parmigiano reggiano. The Balti gave the dish a nice "warm" taste. It was simply delicious.
A question was posted about the role of salt versus sugar as both a preservative and "firming up" the eggplant. The answer is that both salt and sugar have an osmotic effect on the fruit, thus "drawing water out" of the tissue and "into" the salt/sugar. Of course, movement is not one-way, so if you use salt some of it will diffuse INTO the eggplant (but more water will move out than salt moving in). The same is true of sugar. The reason salt (and sugar) have been used as preservatives historically is not really because they draw the water out of the food you are trying to preserve, but because they also draw the water out of the "bad stuff" that is also trying to eat the food before you get to it. Thus, salt prevents bacteria and fungus from growing/surviving in meats, and high sugar content prevents bacteria and fungus from growing/surviving in "preserved" fruits and veggies. Most bacteria and fungi do not survive well in high salt or high sugar environments, and because bacteria and fungi are the main agents of decomposition ("spoiling"), high levels of salt and sugar have long been used as preservatives. (Note: for the same reason, high levels of salt are not good inside our body... it tends to pull water out of our cells, so our body responds by retaining more water in order to "dilute" the salt, which in turn leads to high blood pressure, kidney problems, etc. High sugar can cause similar problems, but the main negative effect relates to insulin regulation problems)
This is a wonderful recipe. I have made this frequently, with a few variations.
If you don't like mushrooms, substitute with three pieces of crispy bacon crumbled.
Add several 1/4 cup of merlot about 5 minutes before you finish cooking and top each serving lightly with fresh parmesan -asiago mix cheese.
Or, substitute mushrooms with three pieces of crispy bacon crumbled.
God bless you and your cooking Mike!
This is a wonderful recipe! There is a traditional dish in Bulgaria that is very similar, except that there are no mushrooms and the peppers are baked as somebody suggested. Nevertheless I am trying yours and I am delighted!
I loved your recipe, but to make it a little heartier, I added carrots and paired it with a cornbread muffin.
This recipe is good. In order to make it awesome, the changes I would suggest are:
1. Sautee half the eggpalnt in olive oil by itself, and add with the tomatoes. (allows for some identifiable - and VERY tasty eggplant)
2. Use white wine instead of the broth
3. Serve with shaved parmesian and crusty french bread
I just cooked your recipe, more or less as you suggested, and it was divine. My kids ate it! I guess one contributing factor to its outstanding awesomeness would be that everything came from my garden. It's the first year I've grown everything myself and I highly recommend it. Thanks for a delicious recipe that gets the good stuff down the kids' necks.
ratatouille is a healthy dish, simple and rich in flavor. it will look much better or pleasent to your eyes if you bake it. It is important 2 present the food on a dish . make as the Remi did it. Do not mix and stir. make an ar work with it.
No musrooms, no broth(yikes salt/sodium who needs that?). is a very inexpensive and nutritious dish and Is French of course!
send me an e-mail and i explain 2 you how to make it look like a very expensive dish. then add the expensive wine. email@example.com :D
What I want to know is how we can alter this great recipe so we can present this dish just as it was in the movie--as a stunning, architectural centerpiece on the plate. All ratatouilles I've had or seen are so stewish, which is fine most of the time, but for a special occasion, I want a bit of Voila. Any ideas?
I just love this. I never has any professionally or traditionally made before but this one i made was just perfect. the texture, the smell, the taste, it was all perfect.
I am thinking of cooking this dish after seeing Remy's film.
but one thing I've noticed on all the articles online that I've search is that:
-very flexible dish
but the cooking time, is it too long considering that veggies tend to lose their potent(or vitamins+minerals) if heated too long?
so i had no idea that ratatouille was a real dish. not even after the movie came out. HAHA
so i decided to try it out although i have NEVER eaten eggplant before. i don't know how ratatouille's supposed to taste, but i thought it was excellent. i didn't do any sweating of the eggplant and i tasted no bitterness at all. instead of pairing it w/ a bagguette(didn't buy any at the time), i toasted some sourdough bread instead and it was fantastic. my husband doesn't usually eat veggies and thought it was really good. LOL
so i give it 2 very enthusiastic thumbs up. :oD
My daughter watched the movie and wanted ratatouille for dinner. Made this version minus the green peppers. It was GREAT! will definitely make it again. Our son who usually complains about onions ate 3 helpings.
I am going to try to cook this for my family mainly our 5year old who makes us watch ratatouille at least once a week...and I never bore of the movie either love it. We even went to disneyland paris and he was mainly interested in seeing remy and eating in his restuarant even though we did not try the ratatouille I WOULD like to now...many thanks to whoever posted this its clearly popular...well leave feedback when we have cooked it.
Hey...you manage to be so f**king precise about everything else and yet you can't manage to state "how much" olive oil to use. Some engineer. It's guys like you who cause space rovers to crash.
Wow, much anger... please refer to the recipe summary table at the bottom of the article.
in response to :unsure: about how much olive oil to use it's at the bottom of the recipe...plus :) my French mother in law taught me this recipe...way back when...she was from Brittany and an excellent cook she added a nice sausage which you can serve on the side and she added eggs which she cracked over the ratatouille depends on how many people are served and put a lid to simmer to poach the eggs...different to some but remember in different regions of France your going to get a little variance in this wonderful dish!!! Have fun!
I'm from India and found this recipe super. I use a lot of eggplant - in other dishes - and have never found the need to remove "bitterness". Eggplants, in my experience - are just not bitter! And salting / sugaring / rinsing would remove a lot of the nutrients - particularly the iron, wouldn't it?
The one thing that i DO know is that no one cooks eggplant in iron saucepans - traditionally.
p.s. my husband is an engineer - and he approves of this format - but he's a terrible cook otherwise!!! ;)
I had this dish at a restaurant today and look forward to making it at home with your recipe. Thank you for this site. ;o)
Thank you for this wonderful recipe. I made it last night and everyone loved it.
I doubled the quantity and followed your recipe with these minor variations:
1. I happened to have a handful of toasted pine nuts, which I tossed in when I added broth. They turned out to be a perfect addition. They add a whole new dimension to the dish but are absolutely organic with all other flavors.
2. This is a traditional Eastern European twist on the dish: serve it with a dollop of good sour cream.
Today, since there were not enough leftovers for dinner, I added some roasted potatoes to the dish while reheating it. Potatoes change the nature of the dish making it heartier (or some might say heavier) but I like this way too.
Thank you for this recipe. I will make it again.
First, cooking for engineers! I love it! I was a math and physics major and am still proudly a nerd (and yes, I'm a woman!)
Someone mentioned eating ratatouille with scrambled eggs. That reminded me of a Middle Eastern dish called shakshouka (transliteration varies--it's pronounced shock-SHOO-ka) that is eggs poached in stewed tomatoes and often eaten with French fries aka chips--great cheap lunch. If you served it with some nice bread or rolls instead of the chips it would pass for brunch food.
Also, as I discovered (and so did at least one other reader) there are two kinds of ratatouille. One, which I've made before, is essentially roasted vegetables--and includes potatoes. This looks to be the stew kind, and I'm going to try it.
And I love the confirmation code, too!
Great site. Thank you for the pics as well. :)
I just wanted to add that "shakshouka" is actually a Nothern African dish not a Middle Eastern, and usually made without mashrooms, but definitely scrambled eggs.
There are no mushrooms in ratatouille! Ratatouille is eggplant, zucchini, tomato, red and green bell pepper, onion and garlic stewed in olive oil with salt and pepper. Bon appétit!
Re: your excellent discussion about the addition of salt and sugar to this dish. . . .
It is exactly that combination (of salt and sugar) we use in seasoning salmon to make 'locks'. Putting this combination on raw salmon pulls all the moisture out of it. Here in Denmark, Locks/Lax are called 'gravid lax.' In the old days, when there were no refrigerators, Danes would salt and pepper their fresh-caught salmon, put a weight on it, and bury it for several days. ('Gravid' = Grave in Danish.)
Re: your excellent discussion about the addition of salt and sugar to this dish. . . .
It is exactly that combination (of salt and sugar) we use in seasoning salmon to make 'locks'. Putting this combination on raw salmon pulls all the moisture out of it. Here in Denmark, Locks/Lax are called 'gravid lax.' In the old days, when there were no refrigerators, Danes would salt and sugar their fresh-caught salmon, put a weight on it, and bury it for several days. ('Gravid' = Grave in Danish.)
For those who want no fat at all in their diet, simmer all in chicken broth. Just before serving, add a couple of stalks of celery slithered into 1/16" slices - lovely crunch. Coarsely grated Swiss cheese over top is an added bonus.
As an admitted foodie and chef for a living, I loved the step by step process with photos for this recipe. I'm told this is a peasant dish where they would just throw together whatever they had available or in season, which is relatively vague. Having never made (or tried) ratatouille, and having found out that I have to make it today, this was the best way to catch a glimpse of how its supposed to turn out. Great recipe!!
I love this whole website...and this dish was awesome.
I have made Ratatouille before but not with mushrooms.
I didn't put mushrooms in and I substituted Iltalian Seasoning for
About eggplants and salt:
In general, the long, narrow kinds of eggplants found all over Asia have no bitterness and need no salting. The large, bulbous kind generally need to be sliced, salted, and pressed to remove brown, bitter juices before rinsing and using them.
Hi! I'm planning on making this soon and I'm a little confused about the eggplant, I've never worked/cooked with it before. I've been told I'm supposed to drain the liquid/salt/strain, I've read a lot of the comments on here as well, but in the recipe you say that the eggplant will release a lot of liquid and the other veggie's will simmer in them for a great flavor. Do you recommend draining/straining/salting the eggplant before cooking this dish?
I do not salt/drain my eggplant. When selecting globe eggplants, pick heavy eggplants with firm skin. Perhaps I've been lucky, but I've never bought a bitter one... I have had bitter eggplant at other people's houses and at restaurants and my only guess is that older eggplant may develop a bitterness that needs to be dealt with. The problem is that the bitter eggplant that I've had have all been salted, etc. so I'm currently of the opinion that it's just best to buy fresh eggplant and dispense with the whole salting operation. I've not yet done experiments on this though.
eggplant, cucumbers and okra all benefit from picking and eating the young / small size. bigger is not better for these critters.
two things on the bitterness associated with eggplant - first, modern varieties have much less tendency to get bitter, and second - it's an age thing. younger, smaller, not hollow sounding to a thump are my guidelines - with salting/draining not required.
the salting/draining is actually not some 'old wives tale' - in my grandmother's younger days, it was true and required. she lived to 95 and was heavy duty into gardening and cooking. the eggplant has improved <g>
While living in Germany, I visited a neighbor just before dinner and smelled heavenly aromas from her kitchen. That was my initial introduction in 1977. Renate did not use green peppers, however, but did add basil, oregano, and thyme. She served it over couscous and sprinkled the dish with either fresh grated Emmentaler Swiss or Parmesan cheese. I've never done the eggplant/salt prep as I've never had a bitter eggplant. I don't use mushrooms either. I think it is best if made the day before you plan to serve it. I combine it with a green salad on the side and voila! a healthy, hearty, and totally satisfying meal with great leftovers. Tonight, I'm trying it with a splash of red wine as one of the contributors suggested. Tomorrow, it will be perfect!
PS For years, I spelled it phonetically: "RAHTAHTOOWEE" While in France, I discovered how it was supposed to be spelled. Thanks to you and to Disney for bringing this wonderful experience to all of us Paisants.
Is it at all possible to use frozen green peppers instead of fresh? I have 5 large frozen peppers and would love to find a use for them. Thanks!
I garden and often have a big surplus of green bell peppers. wash slice dice freeze on a flat cookie sheet on in a thin layer. once frozen, bag'em for storage.
although I'm not a "hot pepper freak" I've found banana peppers nicely warm - do the same with them except just sliced vs diced.....
do not just slice and/or dice and put in a bag for freezing - it takes longer to freeze, they get soft(er) and you have just a single frozen mass. freezing in a thin layer lets you break up the chunks so you don't have to use the whole bag in one go.
Another Engineer here - did great with this recipe!! Went with red wine, no stock, no mushrooms, added half can canned corn, extra heavy on garlic and onions.
This dish is the best use of the summer vegetables! I don't use mushrooms either, prefer to stay with the classic ingredients of zucchini, eggplant, sweet peppers, onions & garlic. Use the best quality olive oil (extra-virgin) and Japanese eggplants (they are not bitter). I generally make this a day ahead, refrigerate, and reheat the next day for best flavor. Heat the olive oil in a sturdy pot and add ingredients as you chop them. I tend to add in this order: onions, garlic, eggplant (more olive oil), peppers, zucchini & tomatoes. Add as much oil as you need to prevent sticking. Italian seasoning (basil, oregano, marjoram & thyme) and salt complete the dish. Steaming bowlfuls of this with chunks of sourdough bread are all you need.
Over brown rice.
Great recipe. I added a jalapeno and a couple of chile peppers to add some zest. I also skipped the tomato paste since I didn't have any. It didn't seem to be a problem.
I make this all the time now, so thank you. I usually mix the juices from the can of tomatoes and white wine in place of the stock. I'm going to have to try the red wine like someone above me. I also eat this as bruschetta and it's, well, amazing. Thanks!
I realize this may be slightly sacrilegious, but I am not in the habit of keeping eggplant stocked in my fridge on a regular basis, nor am I a fan of the taste. Is there a veggie that would suffice as a substitute without compromising the flavor and texture of this dish? I have never tried it, but would love to use my husband as a guinea pig!
>>without compromising the flavor and texture of this dish?
hmmmm, perhaps texture but in the flavor department,,, not really [g]
there's a lot of of flavors in the dish - it does not turn out like "egg plant puree" so to speak - I would encourage you to try it. I don't stock eggplant either - I buy one when I want it.
buy small ones - bigger is not better in eggplant - it should be firm and have a smooth skin - no dimpling / wrinkling - that's past its prime.
I always peel mine - I don't care for the skin strips in my dishes.
for substitutions the first thing that comes to mind is zucchini - I suspect fairly thick slice (half inch or so) and watch the cooking time as zucchini goes to mush pretty quick when overcooked.
AFTER READING THE MAJORITY OF COMMENTS I HAD NO IDEA HOW MANY OPPINIONS PEOPLE HAD ABOUT A SIMPLE YET NOT SO COMMON RECIPE. IT WAS SO DIFFICULT TO FIND IN 10-15 COOKBOOKS I SEARCHED THRU. ONLY ONE HAD IT AND I WASNT GOING TO BUY THE BOOK JUST FOR ONE RECIPE. JULST LIKE A FEW READERS I WAS ASKED BY MY TWO BOYS 9 AND 12 TO MAKE THIS RECIEP AFTER WATCHING THE MOVIE. THEY PROMISSED TO EAT IT NO MATTER HOW IT TASTED THEIR NOT BIG ON EATTING VEGIES ESPECIALLY EGGPLANT SO I JUMPED ON IT. I WILL HAVE TO GET BACK TO YOU ON THE RESULTS. JULIETTE AND BOYS.
This is easily converted into a vegan dish. Hmm.
Just wanted to let you know thanks to you I had a very hearty meal if ratatouille!
I had to improvise a little as I recklessly assumed tomato paste and sauce were the same deal.
Julie the "good" chef wrote:
While James Beard was a prolific author, entertainer, and promoter, he is not often held up as an authority on chemistry or terminology. The words "saute," "melt," and "gently" do not in any sense go together. The first poster is quite correct that if you saute garlic first and continue at that heat, it will burn. It should be clear that the author of the article was merely using the wrong word, and was actually sweating in oil.
Perhaps instead you could have found fault with the original poster's suggestion that olive oil "boils" hotter than canola--I assume that he meant flash point--as only the vilest grade of olive oil has a higher flash point than canola, and if we're sweating, we're not close to the flash point anyway. As any good cook would know.
Regarding the question about inexpensive wines to go with this dish, I have a few suggestions, all of which retail for about $20 or less. First off, if you're looking to pair a wine with a cuisine form a certain area, it's never a bad move to choose a wine from the same region. Since this dish is Provencal, any number of rhone varietals (syrah, grenache, mourvedre or a blend thereof) would probably work well. IMHO, neither cabernet nor merlot would complement the flavors of this dish -- but to each their own. Juan Gil Jumilla (~$17/bottle) might be a good choice. French Rhone wines are a little too expensive for my pocketbook since the Euro started clobbering the dollar, but the Aussies do a pretty nice job with the shirazes -- just expect them to be a little more fruit-forward than their French counterparts. Layer Cake Shiraz '06 or '08 is a little on the heavy side, but would work well at less than $15/bottle; If you are not easily offended, there is a good grenache bottling called "B-tch" that might work well for ~$11/bottle (and it makes a great gag gift). A nice Cali Zin would also be a good fit -- Seghesio, Murhpy Goode, Murietta, Dry Creek, Eberle, Midnight Cellars are frequently good bets. Don't like reds, or it's warm out and you're eating cold food? How about a nice Tavel Rose (sorry, I don't know how to make the accent aigu appear here)? I've also had good roses made from sangiovese, syrah and malbec. Perhaps my favorite rose ever was Pipestone Grenache Rose, but I think the price was over $20. Their syrah was prestty solid, too.
For a white, I would suggest viognier -- Yalumba makes a good bottling for about $10/bottle. Their Eden Valley is even better.
Looks like I got a little carried away...
I'm impressed with the vigorous flood of comments and suggestions this recipe has invoked. I know the movie was very popular, but I think the great taste and healthiness of Rattatouille is the common vector here. My experience with Rattatouille is from Pelican's Wharf, a restaurant in Austin Tx, (sadly gone now) where my girfriend (now wife) and I would split an order with our main courses. It was a delight and I will attempt to cook it now, post haste. Thanks for the lively discussion! Viva Rattatouille!
I love this recipe. It's easy to make, and you can be pretty flexible with the ingredients. I've made it several times. Last night I made it and then found out a friend was coming over for dinner, and he's really picky about stuff he hasn't tried before. Even he enjoyed it, though.
I looked all over the web and my cookbooks for a simple ratatouille recipe that I could adapt while on a calorie-restricted diet. This was perfect! I reduced the oil down to a tsp but sprayed some olive-oil spray as necessary to keep from sticking. I used more fresh herbs - some oregano and thyme - and added a splash of balsamic vinegar at the end. Thanks so much and I really liked the format you used, too...and I'm no engineer!
i was wondering if i would leave the skin on the eggplant.. i have never used eggplant before and have no idea about it.. thanks for any help :)
I would suggest peeling the eggplant. some folks do leave it on, but I find that makes for "stringy UFOs" in the final dish . . .
I’d never run into your site,
Til one long and frustrating night
When, driving myself screwy
To find a good ratatouille,
Your site popped and I saw the light.
Then I noticed a whole other list
Of your dishes that I almost missed,
Now my repertoire’s grown
With your help alone –
And this cook is constantly kissed.
That was an awesome poem/compliment! Thanks!
I've made it twice and each time it turned out great. It is one of the best pure vegetable dishes I've ever had. The thing about the eggplant, I've never had a problem with eggplant. Ever. I don't know where you are getting yours but every eggplant I've used has not been bitter. Maybe you need to find a better source or pick out a younger plant.
I pretty much followed this recipe exactly as is except I put the onions in first and then the garlic. This allows the garlic to have less cooking time in the oil and not be burned. I wonder what other variations this dish could have. Any thoughts?
I loved, I mean loved this dish. My partner is a vegetarian and we were looking for some added protein, so we added chick peas and 1/4 c. more veg stock and 1/2 the liquid from the diced tomatoes... amazing. Go for it, you won't be sorry.
We cooked the ratatouille last weekend from this recipe and it was AMAZING! Even my veggie-phobic husband loved and and took leftovers to work! Thanks for the recipe!!
Just wanted to say, great recipe ! I had everything prepared, then something urgent came up. (ha, being a mom...) So I just dumped it all in my crockpot and left it on high for 4 hours; it turned out amazing !!!
It was just a bit too liquid, so next time I'll cut the broth in half (or add cornstarch like I did this time)
I served it over pasta with cheese melted on top. Great way to pass vegetables to picky eaters. Especially since the eggplant totally disappears, No-one knew that they were eating the weird purple thing everyone eeewwwed at and poked when it came from the market... LOL
I am very impressed with the presentation of the recipes. The step-by-step instruction is very easy to follow accompanied by the excellent pictures. The chart is the master stroke: it summarizes each step, includes each ingredient and cooking times. Just follow the chart and you can easily cook the meal !
I add a splash of balsamic vinegar at the end before serving. It enlivens this dish and helps bring the flavors together even more.
added a hot pepper
Ka pow it was great
...this method is actually not unusual...
it's the base for most dishes in the filipino culture, and if you do it right (low heat, etc) the dishes taste amazing. it's not exactly a secret...
i remember printing out this recipe a long time ago. i couldn't find it on google again, but i'm so happy i did. i love this version of ratatouille. i don't particularly like eggplant, so i leave that out. some of the other recipes call for potatoes and other peppers. i said to myself "that's not the recipe i used before! i want the one that i had!"
Made this last night in lieu of a trip to Paris. My son was reading the book Ratatouile and all of a sudden asks if we can go to Paris. I asked him why and he said we have to go to Gustav's (or something - sorry, never saw the movie) since he makes the best ratatouille. So, we looked up airfares and found out that we couldn't afford to go to Paris, but instead, why don't we see what ratatouille is and if we can make it. I found this website, and am now a believer. Turns out, it is the easiest dish to make, but very flavorful. We ate ours with warm French bread.
Also, once everything is chopped up, my 8-year-old son was able to make it easily, with supervision of course :-> The only thing I would change is that I would put the eggplant as the first veggie and let that cook for awhile until it gets soft, then add the rest of the ingredients. That way, the other ingredients won't turn to mush as well...although, I did like it mushy like this, especially to dip the bread in, but it doesn't look as pretty as your picture.
By the way, I followed everything exactly as you have it listed and it really was yumbo! Thank you so much for this!
>>instead of going to Paris. . .
heehee. indeed an economical dish!
I made this and it was incredible. My husband, an avid MEAT and potato guy, loved this. Really he loved it. I tried it the next day cold on some toast and it was so so yummy. Thank you.
I just seen another recipe for rat (as I am looking up recipes for it so I can cook it) and I noticed a variation. Although most all of the ingredients between your web page and the other was the same, the differance was they added Parmesian cheese and your doesn't. Any difference? Or is it still the same with just an extra added goodie?
Mushrooms are a great addition to ratatouille. I had a Francophile complain about the mushrooms until they ate the meal. Then they agreed that it was acceptable. Your recipe is five-star!
When cooking eggplant, the sex of the eggplant makes a difference in flavor and texture.
Female eggplants have more seeds and a more bitter flavor. Conversely, male eggplants have fewer seeds and are much less bitter. Female eggplants tend to need to be salted and have the exuded moisture removed, while male eggplants don't.
To tell the sex of an eggplant, look at the indentation at bottom. If it's deep and shaped like a dash, it's a female. If it's shallow and round, it's a male.
This has been my go-to ratatouille recipe for years by now. That's awesome, you're awesome, that is all.