On my most uncreative evenings, my dinners often consist of a pile of roasted veggies with a fried egg on top. Yes, it’s delicious, but after 4 weeks straight it can get repetitive. The simple solution: ratatouille! Still a healthy amount of veggies, but prepared differently and with a much different texture. Ratatouille is a “stewed” vegetable dish originally from the Provence region in France, and is typically associated with summer months. But hey, with the luxury of modern grocery stores and imported produce, ratatouille is now my favorite winter Provençal dinner!
There are lots of variations on the preparation of ratatouille: some saute each ingredient separately, then layer the vegetables in a dish and bake it, some combine all ingredients in a large pot like a stew. Some recipes include herbs like basil, fennel, and marjoram. I even realized, while making my own ratatouille, that my host mom in Spain made the Spanish version for us, called pisto. Conchi’s version involved pulsing all ingredients in a food processor, and serving almost as a topping or dip for bread. It was one of my favorite dishes that she made!
***Pro-tip (Emily-tip): To make this veggie dish into a little meal, crack an egg on top of the ratatouille halfway through baking in the oven.
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 eggplant, peeled and diced
- 2 bell peppers, ribs and seeds removed, diced
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 1 yellow squash, diced
- 1 tomato, peeled, seeded, and diced
- 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Heat some olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, saute until fragrant. Add the eggplant, saute another minute or so, until the eggplant starts to soften. Next add the peppers, followed by the zucchini and squash. Continue cooking until the veggies begin to soften. Add the tomato and thyme, and saute until most of the liquid has cooked off.
- Lightly spray four ramekins with cooking spray. Spoon the veggies into each ramekin, and bake in oven for about 20 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly brown.