French Cuisine – Ratatouille


It’s been a while since I attended the Caring Place Community Kitchen. The reason is Minoo usually demonstrates very simple and old recipes which I had blogged before for this group of participants. The Caring Place participants are mostly new immigrants or people who just started to learn to cook. Occasionally, we will get a participant who are willing to share some very ethnic cuisines and Minoo will let me know to join such kitchen.

French-Cuisine-Ratatouille-16

For this kitchen, we are glad to have Cecile to demonstrate some French recipes. Cecile is borned in Africa (not sure which part, South, maybe) and raised in France. The first recipe that Cecile shared with us is Ratatouille, a popular summer vegetables stew when zucchini, tomatoes and egg plants are plentiful.

Ratatouille can be served as a side dish along meat or fish entrees or as an entree itself when serve with rice. Left over Ratatouille can be served over omelet or pasta. The Ratatouille is usually better the next day when reheated.

Ingredients

  • 4 small or 2 big zucchinis (courgettes), peel and cut into small cubes
  • 2 small or 1 medium egg plant, peel and cut into small cubes
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch of green onions, chopped
  • 1 x 780g can diced tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes if available)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Bouquet garni herb mix, about 2 teaspoons
  • Herbes de Provence mix, a handful
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 splash of Balsamic vinegar

French-Cuisine-Ratatouille-1

For this kitchen, we used a combination of fresh and can tomatoes.

French-Cuisine-Ratatouille-2French-Cuisine-Ratatouille-3

The photo on the left is the Bouquet garni herb mix which comprises of thyme, bay leaf, marjoram and parsley. You may click on the photo of the of the Herbs de Provence to see the contents of it.

Source: Anna

Serves 5 to 6

Instructions

French-Cuisine-Ratatouille-5If you use fresh tomatoes, peel and dice the tomatoes. To peel the tomatoes, cut an x on the bottom of the tomatoes and soak them in boiling water for a minute or until the skin peels off easily. Peel and dice the tomatoes.

Puree the tomatoes using a food processor.

French-Cuisine-Ratatouille-4Fry the onions with a tablespoon of oil until translucent. Remove from pan and set aside.
French-Cuisine-Ratatouille-6Fry the egg plants with a tablespoon of oil until soften. Remove from pan and set aside.
French-Cuisine-Ratatouille-7Fry the zucchinis with a tablespoon of oil until soften. Remove from pan and set aside.
French-Cuisine-Ratatouille-8In a large frying pan, fry the garlic and tomato purees until bubbly.
French-Cuisine-Ratatouille-9Add Bouquet garni and Herbed de Provence herb mix.

Season with sugar, salt and pepper to taste.

French-Cuisine-Ratatouille-11Combine all the onions, eggplants, zucchinis in a large pot and add the tomato sauce.
French-Cuisine-Ratatouille-13Add the chopped onion and mix well.

Bring it back to a boil and lower the heat and let simmer for 2 to 4 hours, stirring occasionally.

The longer the cooking time, the better it tastes.

French-Cuisine-Ratatouille-14Add a splash of Balsamic vinegar at the end of the cooking and let simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes.
French-Cuisine-Ratatouille-18Anna served the Ratatouille as an entree with steamed basmati rice, flavoured with some butter.

Anna used a ring mold to present her dish. First, she packs the bottom layer the basmati rice and top with the Ratatouille.

Remove the ring gently. Add more Ratatouille on the side and garnish with parsley.

One thought on “French Cuisine – Ratatouille

  1. Excellent! My husband just made up two Le Creuset cocotte (casserole) dishes of ratatouille today. He is from the south of France where this is an everyday staple. We have it with a lot of meals when we are in Marseille and Nice and everyone has a slightly different variation of it. We’ve never used balsamic vinegar or sugar before so this will be an interesting variation to try the next time we make it. I am inspired by many of your recipes and having the pictures to go along with each of the steps is particularly helpful. I’m a great fan of yourself and Ben….. and get great laughs from your kids.

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