I am a lover of all foods that remind me of home and family. When I was a little kid, before I even wanted to maintain a healthy lifestyle, I was already passionate about eating vegetables and fruits that we grew in our small farm. I remember my father bringing home zucchinis, carrots, turnips and even kale and I would get all excited and ask my mom to make something out of them.
And what my mother made that time was so heart-warming and filled with love that even up to this day, I would ask her to make it every time I go back home. And because I live in the city now, I often miss the laid-back and worry feel of the country side. So I made it a point to bring back memories of my childhood with me. This was the reason why I asked my mother to teach me how to make her classic Ratatouille. Sounds fancy, I know. But its flavors are home to me.
Now I can make this dish, indulge in its rustic Provencal flavors in less than 2 hours. I make this dish so often that I have tried every cooking gadget out there just so I can slice the vegetables properly. I have used a mandolin, a sharp chef’s knife and even a portable meat slicer! But I’ve realized that whatever slicing method you use, the flavors will still be satisfying, hearty, and delectable
Classic Ratatouille You Can Make At Home
It doesn’t matter whether you love vegetables or not. Once you have tried this recipe, you will fall in love with it!
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
- 2 large red onions, sliced into rings
- 1 small onion, chopped finely
- 4 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 large aubergines or Japanese Eggplants, sliced thinly (round)
- 3 courgettes or yellow and green zucchinis, sliced thinly (round)
- 3 red or yellow peppers, sliced into strips or rings
- 6 ripe tomatoes, sliced into thin discs
- ½ a bunch of fresh basil, chopped and divided
- olive oil
- a few sprigs of thyme or 1 tsp of dried thyme
- 1 (400 gram) can of crushed organic tomatoes (you can also use tomato sauce)
- 1 Tbsp. of balsamic vinegar
- Zest of ½ a lemon
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. and grease your baking 9 or 10-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray or a little bit of olive oil. And set aside.
- In a large skillet, sauté the garlic and chopped onions until they are completely cooked and translucent. Add the thyme and balsamic vinegar until completely reduced but not dry. Transfer in a large bowl and add the crushed tomatoes and about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and mix well. Add half of the chopped basil
- Place or transfer the sauce in the baking dish and spread evenly. Just make sure that you do not use more than what you need to keep it from overflowing in the oven. You can add more thyme at this stage. This will be the base and the glue to hold the vegetables together.
- Alternately, arrange the slices of aubergines, onions, zucchini, tomatoes and bell peppers in a circle, beginning at the outermost edge of the baking dish. Continue the same pattern following the shape of the dish until it’s completely filled up.
- Sprinkle lemon zest and more olive oil on top of the vegetables and bake it for 45 minutes or until the vegetables are completely cooked.
- Sprinkle the remaining basil leaves on top. If you have some sauce leftover, heat it up and serve it on the side.
- To make this vegetarian, you can add some mascarpone cheese on top before placing it in the oven to bake. But personally, I like it just the way it is.
- Things You’ll Need:
- Calories: 212
- Total Fats: 8.5 grams
- Saturated Fat: 1.3 grams
- Cholesterol: 13 mg
- Carbohydrates: 27.1 grams
- Fiber: 8.7 grams
- Protein: 8.5 grams
Ratatouille is not just great as a main dish. In fact, you can also use this as a side to a bowl of steamed rice, freshly cooked pasta, or some toasted Italian bread or crackers.