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Dutch oven on a striped cloth, filled with ratatouille

The Best Easy Ratatouille Recipe


Description

This flavorsome French vegetable stew contains zucchini eggplant and bell peppers simmered in garlicky tomato sauce and herbs and can be ready in an hour. Serve ratatouille as an appetizer on crostini, a side dish with meat, poultry or fish, or as vegetarian main dish.

Adapted from Craig Claiborn's Recipe


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 large eggplant or 2 small ( 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 3 zucchini ( about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 3 bell peppers, any color you like
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
  • 4 cups drained, canned tomatoes, chopped or crushed*
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 2 teaspoons herbs de Provence
  • 1/2 cup drained non-pareil capers (the small ones)

Instructions

  1. Wash the eggplant and zucchini and trim off the ends but leave the skin on. Cut them  into 1-inch cubes. There should be about nine cups of eggplant cubes and six cups of zucchini. (For directions on how to slice eggplant into cubes, refer to photos in the post)
  2. Peel onions and cut into half-inch dice. There should be about one and one-half cups.
  3. Core, seed and devein the bell peppers  and cut them into one-inch pieces.
  4. Add oil to a large heavy lidded pot or dutch oven and set the pot on the stove over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the eggplant and zucchini. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables soften and start to brown, about five minutes.
  5. Add onions, bell peppers and garlic to the pot. Cook, stirring, over high heat, for about two minutes. 
  6. Add  tomato puree and tomato paste and stir to blend. 
  7. Add the bay leaf, thyme, herbs de Provence and capers. Season with  another pinch or two of salt and black pepper to taste. Bring to a boil over high heat and once bubbling, lower the heat and  simmer gently, covered, for 30 minutes.

Notes

Canned tomatoes for ratatouille: For this recipe or any recipe that calls for chopped or crushed tomatoes, I prefer buying whole canned tomatoes and chopping or crushing them by hand. The quality of the whole tomatoes is superior. The best canned whole tomatoes are San Marzano tomatoes with D.O.P on the can. Whichever canned tomatoes you use for this recipe, whole or crushed, if there's a lot of liquid, drain them in a colander and then measure out 4 cups. If using canned whole plum tomatoes, you will need one 28-ounce can plus one 14-ounce can.

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: French

Keywords: Ratatouille recipe, easy ratatouille recipe