Ratatouille is a classic French roasted vegetable stew. It's easy to make, budget friendly, great for weekly meal prep, and perfect for the fall. Packed with nine vegetables, this hearty stew is also very nutritious.
When making this dish, start with throughly washed vegetables that have been diced to bite sized pieces. I like to roast them in the oven for added flavor. However if you are short on time, this stew taste just as great without the roasting. This is my take on a classic. Enjoy!
-2 Large Zucchinis, diced
-2 Large Yellow Squash, diced
-1 Large Eggplant, diced
-3 Vine Tomatoes, diced
-1/2 Onion, diced
-1 Tbsp fresh garlic, minced
-Italian Seasoning blend
-2 Baking sheets
-1 Large skillet/pot
Wash all vegetables before dicing. Visit TECHNIQUES to learn about my bulk produce cleaning method along with many other tips on kitchen cleanliness. As cleaning is complete, begin dicing veggies into bite sized portions and placing them on a baking sheet for a 350F degree oven.
Chop zucchini and squash into bite sized pieces. Place on two foiled baking sheets and drizzle 1 Tbsp of olive oil and 1/8 Tsp salt on each sheet. Spread evenly and place in oven for 20 mins stirring midway.
While the squash and zucchini roast, chop onion and mince garlic for sautéing in a large skillet on medium heat. In this recipe, we will be using a lot of olive oil. Though olive oil is said to be a healthier choice in oils, I try to limit the amount without sacrificing on taste. Olive oil is not a high heat oil and therefore cannot be used above certain temperatures. Sautéing in water eliminates any of the aforementioned problems.
After the onions, garlic and 1 Tbsp of Italian seasoning has cooked down, add 2 cups of marinara sauce and allow to simmer on low heat. I have an All Purpose Marinara sauce recipe coming soon. It was featured during our second MedChef event. If you haven't made your own marinara sauce, purchase pasta sauce from the grocer. I recommend getting Rao's.
By this time the zucchini and squash have cooked down and are ready to come out of the oven. Mix them into the marinara and re-foil both sheets. Put the diced eggplant on one of the baking sheets and spread evenly. Sprinkle 1/8 Tsp salt on eggplant to begin drawing out excess water. Do not add the olive oil to the eggplant until it is halfway through roasting. Pouring olive oil on uncooked eggplant will leave you with some pieces saturated in the soaked up oil while other pieces have none.
Dice 3 tomatoes and place on one end of the second baking sheet with 1/8 Tsp salt and 1 Tsp Italian seasoning. On the other end spread out the 1/2 chopped red, yellow and orange bell peppers. Place baking sheets with veggies in oven.
After 20 mins, take roasted veggies out of the oven and stir into the large skillet of marinara sauce. Add 1 Tbsp of olive oil and 1 Tbsp of Italian seasoning blend. Salt again to taste.
Note: This dish is great served alone or with quinoa. For added heat, stir in crushed red peppers. Use a quality Italian seasoning blend because the flavor profile of this dish is very light. A good seasoning blend is a perfect mix of about 7 great herbs that help compliment the flavor in the roasted veggies. For decreased cooking time, throw all ingredients in a pressure cooker. For hands off cooking, put all ingredients in a crock pot.