This traditional ratatouille recipe is made the classic French way! Sop up these stewed late summer veggies with bread or serve as a side.
Sure, you’ve heard of the Ratatouille movie: but do you know what ratatouille actually is? Not surprisingly, this humble dish that’s not anything like it’s glamorized movie version: thinly sliced vegetables served in a swirled stack. This classic French dish of stewed late summer vegetables is anything but fancy, but it’s a darn good way to use seasonal produce! Serve it as a side dish with fish or chicken, or as a main dish with white beans and crusty bread.
What is ratatouille?
Ratatouille is a classic dish from Southern France of stewed vegetables. There’s no formalized recipe or method, but it typically includes eggplant, tomato, zucchini, onion, and bell pepper. It’s a humble stew and surprise: not anything like the ratatouille you see in the Pixar movie.
Where did the Disney ratatouille recipe come from? In the 1970’s French chefs started making a version of the dish with thin sliced vegetables. French chef Thomas Keller riffed on this concept in his 1999 cookbook, calling the recipe Confit byaldi. Confit byaldi adds a tomato and pepper sauce on the bottom (piperade), then garnishes the thin-sliced vegetables with balsamic vinaigrette.
Chef Thomas Keller actually served as food consultant for the movie Ratatouille! He suggested this way to serve the humble dish to a food critic, which is how it made its way into the movie. It does seem like a pretty genius spin for a mouse to think up, so we’re glad to know it was actually a great real-life chef. (Source)
Making a traditional ratatouille recipe: some tips
A traditional ratatouille recipe is a humble vegetable stew, filled with end of summer vegetables. Is it worth making? Absolutely! It’s a comforting dish that makes your kitchen smell like heaven as the garlic sizzles. The way it enhances the flavors is out of this world! Here are a few things to note about this ratatouille recipe:
Saute the veggies in two batches. The amount of vegetables is too large for the pot, so to get a good caramelization on them you’ll sauté in two batches. While some modern spins roast their ratatouille veggies, we wanted to go as classic as possible.
Then add garlic, tomatoes, and veggies and cook 30 minutes. At this point it’s totally hands off, so you can prepare the rest of the meal.
Serve with pistou if desired. Even better, serve it with classic French pistouover the top! Keep reading.
Serve with pistou to take it over the top
Though this is a traditional ratatouille recipe, we couldn’t resist adding a little spin! (Sorry, Remy.) Add a little green sauce to make this one really shine! What’s pistou?
Pistou is a classic French Provençal sauce made of garlic, olive oil and fresh basil. It’s like Italian pesto but without pine nuts, which gives it a looser texture.
Use an immersion blender or a mortar and pestle to make this traditional sauce.
The fresh, garlicky flavor notes really add to this humble dish.
How to serve ratatouille
Ratatouille is a late summer recipe that works as main dish or a side dish for roast chicken or fish. But keep in mind: it’s all vegetables with no major source of protein to keep you full. To serve it as a main dish, pair it with a protein like white beans, chickpeas or bread and cheese. Here are some ideas:
Prep the vegetables (except tomatoes) and add to a large bowl. Add the 2 tablespoons olive oil and kosher salt and toss to combine.
In a large frying pan or large cast iron skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. Add half of the vegetables and cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until lightly browned (not fully cooked) and remove to a bowl.
Reduce the heat to medium. Add another drizzle of olive oil and cook the second half of the veggies in the same manner for about 5 minutes, then remove them to the same bowl.
Keep the heat on medium. Add the minced garlic to the hot pan. Cook about 10 seconds, stirring constantly. Then add the chopped tomatoes with their liquid and cook for 30 seconds. Add the crushed tomatoes and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Then add the cooked vegetables and stir.
Simmer about 30 minutes until tomatoes are reduced and veggies are all tender, stirring occasionally. When it’s done, stir in the lemon juice, and add more salt and pepper to taste. Top with pistou if desired.
We’ve teamed up with Eggland’s Best to share delicious ideas for cooking with their farm-fresh Classic Eggs, from breakfast to dinnertime. Fed an all-vegetarian diet, Eggland’s Best hens produce quality eggs that not only taste great, but are an excell…
We’ve teamed up with Eggland’s Best to share delicious ideas for cooking with their farm-fresh Classic Eggs, from breakfast to dinnertime. Fed an all-vegetarian diet, Eggland’s Best hens produce quality eggs that not only taste great, but are an excellent source of vitamins E, D, B2, B5, and B12, as well as lutein and omega-3 fatty acids. Even better, they stay fresher for longer compared to ordinary eggs, making them one of our go-to fridge staples.
We all know—and love—the more famous of the egg-based sauces: silky, brunch-able hollandaise; garlicky, olive oil-laced aioli; and, of course, the fridge staple, mayonnaise. But, there is one egg-cellent sauce that deserves a place on the roster (and on your table): sauce gribiche.
A few months into my first year in college, I realized that I hadn’t prepared for such brokeness. In an attempt to pull myself out of college poverty, I applied for a waitressing job at a local brewpub. Aside from some insignificant retail jobs that la…
A few months into my first year in college, I realized that I hadn't prepared for such brokeness. In an attempt to pull myself out of college poverty, I applied for a waitressing job at a local brewpub. Aside from some insignificant retail jobs that lasted maybe a few weeks, I had no relevant work experience. So when it came time for my interview, I did what I seem to do best: I winged it. I spoke about everything that wasn't relevant—how pretty the detailing on the general manager's shirt was, how nicely designed the restaurant was (it had a hideous interior), how challenging school was, etc.
Eventually I had to face the music and come clean, admitting to having no experience, but really, really needing money. The general manager was visibly bummed; she genuinely wanted to hire me, but how could she at this point? She looked down at my application and said, "Well, okay, so you have no experience. I can teach you how to juggle tables. I care more about people who know and like food. Can you answer this: What is crème fraîche?" My eyes lit up immediately.
A Big Little Recipe has the smallest-possible ingredient list and big everything else: flavor, creativity, wow factor. That means five ingredients or fewer—not including water, salt, black pepper, and certain fats (like oil and butter), since we’re gue…
A Big Little Recipe has the smallest-possible ingredient list and big everything else: flavor, creativity, wow factor. That means five ingredients or fewer—not including water, salt, black pepper, and certain fats (like oil and butter), since we're guessing you have those covered. This week, guest columnist, food stylist, and James Beard Award–nominated author Rebekah Peppler is sharing your new favorite way to cook eggplant, fresh fromÀ Table, her just-released cookbook.
Vacation cooking hits different. It prioritizes pleasure. It is imaginative, free to change at a
moment’s notice, often bursting with produce and ingredients that might not make it onto
your everyday cutting board.
Way back in 2008, probably before some of you were born, I posted a recipe for Panisses, chickpea flour fritters. They weren’t so well known outside of the south of France, and even in Paris, people don’t really know what they are. So it was fun introducing these Mediterranean specialties to a wider audience, even if some readers were scratching their heads as to how…
Way back in 2008, probably before some of you were born, I posted a recipe for Panisses, chickpea flour fritters. They weren’t so well known outside of the south of France, and even in Paris, people don’t really know what they are. So it was fun introducing these Mediterranean specialties to a wider audience, even if some readers were scratching their heads as to how to get the main ingredient; chickpea flour.
Nowadays, with gluten-free baking more popular, chickpea flour is easy to get and a recent trip to Marseille, where they’re sold at seaside stands (like the one above), prompted me to make them at home again, and update the recipe with additional tips I picked up.
Welcome to Asha Loupy’s Pantry! In each installment of this series, a recipe developer will share with us the pantry items essential to their cooking. This month, we’re exploring four Basque-Pyrenees staples in Asha’s kitchen.
As a longtime home cook,…
Welcome to Asha Loupy’s Pantry! In each installment of this series, a recipe developer will share with us the pantry items essential to their cooking. This month, we're exploring four Basque-Pyrenees staples in Asha’s kitchen.
As a longtime home cook, former grocery buyer for a specialty food shop, and now recipe developer, my pantry remains much more well-traveled than I am—from Malaysian sambal and shrimp paste to Pragati turmeric from Andhra Pradesh, to Spanish extra-virgin olive oil and Basque peppers. The euphoria I was filled with at the first thought of sharing my pantry was quickly replaced by stomach-dropping dread—what region or country was I actually qualified to write about?
Classic Crème Brûlée Recipe
This Crème Brûlée recipe is easy to make and results in silky-smooth vanilla bean custard covered with a layer of caramelized sugar. A classic recipe perfect for special occasions!
READ: Classic Crème Brûlée Recipe
Macarons, the incredibly beautiful Parisian cookie, are perhaps equally known for their impossibly smooth surface, delicate raised “foot,” and irresistibly chewy texture. As a baker, I see macarons as a bit of a rite of passage. Learning to execute the…
Macarons, the incredibly beautiful Parisian cookie, are perhaps equally known for their impossibly smooth surface, delicate raised “foot,” and irresistibly chewy texture. As a baker, I see macarons as a bit of a rite of passage. Learning to execute these fluttery friends is a great test of a variety of baking skills: whipping a meringue, piping the perfect round, and getting the bake just right. But I also see them as an incredible opportunity to get creative. At their core, macarons are a simple cookie with a fairly short ingredient list: just almond flour, egg whites, and sugar. And since they are made with almond flour, they are naturally gluten-free. Best of all, the short ingredient list means that the cookie itself is neutral in flavor—meaning you can easily add a variety of different fillings and finishes to take your macarons to the next level.
In my newest episode of Bake it Up A Notch, I try to show off some of the many incredible things this cookie can do. While lots of macaron recipes play with adding different colors and filings, I want to encourage home bakers to also experiment with an array of sizes, presentations, and finishes, too! From the classic mini sandwich cookies to giant macarons decorated with royal icing, to a towering, sliceable layer “cake,” there’s a whole lot of ways to embark on your own macaron adventure. Here are the recipes to get you started.