Ratatouille reminds of my mom when I was growing up! She taught me how to cook this delicious vegetable stew-like dish a long time ago, and I have been making it ever since. Ratatouille is traditionally a summer vegetable dish, so no time like Indian summer to whip up a batch! The colors from all of the vegetables are vibrant and you are definitely getting tons of vitamins and minerals from eating the rainbow.
My mom always layered the vegetables and then covered them, not stirring them until the very end. I have experimented with the recipe, and I like layering the vegetables in, one at a time, and stirring them all together each time you add a new vegetable.
Ratatouille gets even better as it sits, so I love it for leftovers the next day. You can serve it with eggs, in an omelette, over arugula as a salad, as a side dish with chicken or fish, or just cold in a bowl straight out of the fridge! Any way, it is one of my most favorite dishes!
6-8 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 large onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 eggplant, peeled and chopped into 1/3 inch cubes
1 red bell pepper and 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
2 zucchini, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
2 tbsp tomato paste
6 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
3 tbsp fresh chopped basil
kosher or sea salt and pepper
In a large pot, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium to high heat. Add the chopped onions and let cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add some salt and stir well. Add the chopped tomatoes and let the onions and tomatoes cook down a bit, for 3-5 minutes. Add the chopped thyme and stir all the flavors together. Add the eggplant and another 2 tablespoons of olive oil and some more salt. Stir the vegetable mixture well and cook for another 6-8 minuets. Add in the bell pepper, and tomato paste and continue to cook for a few more minutes. Finally, add the zucchini and another 2 tbsp of olive oil. Stir everything together. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook for another 10-12 minutes or until the vegetables are all tender and it is almost like a stew. Add more salt and pepper to taste and drizzle with a little more olive oil and sprinkle with fresh basil. Enjoy!