Ratatouille is French for stewed vegetables. It’s my “bowl full of garden goodness” in the summer and my “clean out the produce bin of the fridge” in the winter. Either way it’s a staple in my house. We’ve made it as a side dish, added it to pasta for a main meal, and topped pizza dough with it – I’m sure you can think of a bunch of other ideas.
The base of this dish is tomatoes, garlic, onion, and herbs. Depending upon the time of year, I’ll use any vegetables that are in season. This is a great way to use up those leftover veggies in the fridge. My favorite veggies to add to this are zucchini and peppers. Although I never use exact measurements, I did my best to share what I use in the basic recipe:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small or 1/2 large diced onion (I like Vidalia)
1-2 cloves minced garlic
5-6 small or 3 large peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
1 diced green bell pepper
1 diced zucchini squash and/or diced yellow squash
5-6 thinly sliced fresh basil leaves (sometimes I switch this up with oregano)
small handful of chopped fresh parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh grated Parmesan (optional)
Depending on the season, you can also add mushroom, eggplant, green beans, carrots…you get the idea.
The best part about this dish is that you can literally throw everything into the pan and let simmer for 30-45 min. There are also those people that layer in each vegetable at a time. I always start by heating the olive oil over a medium flame in a saute pan. Add the onions and garlic. When they begin to wilt, you can begin adding the other vegetables, herbs, salt, and pepper – then top with freshly grated cheese. So good!
This is one of the healthiest dishes you can prepare. Bon appetite!