Konnichi wa / Great Outdoors
Ratatouille: A Recipe for a Tasty Dish
Ratatouille is a dish that originated in the south of France and has since become haute cuisine and popular all over the world - you may even find it in a Parisian restaurant or two. It's made up of many different vegetables, but it's not just any old vegetable soup - it's more like a stew, with onions and garlic as its main ingredients. In fact, ratatouille is so delicious because its flavor comes from these two ingredients alone!
Watch this video on how to make the confit byaldi version of ratatouille famously made in the 2007 Disney-Pixar movie Ratatouille!
What is ratatouille?
Ratatouille is a dish from southern France that originally consisted of stewed vegetables, such as tomatoes, onions, and garlic. It then became popular in the United States when Julia Child made it one of her signature dishes on her cooking show back in 1973.
There are many variations to this recipe nowadays – some people add zucchini or eggplant while others include chicken for protein. Tomatoes typically make up most (if not all) of the vegetable content because they’re low-maintenance and flavorful enough to stand on their own without any other ingredients being added.
This dish is not to be confused with the 2007 Disney movie or animated film Ratatouille about a rat who is a French chef that makes the confit byaldi version of the dish to impress his toughest critic. The movie was directed by Brad Bird and starring Brad Garrett as Auguste Gusteau, Janeane Garofalo as Colette Tatou, Lou Romano as Alfredo Linguine, Ian Holm as Chef Skinner, and Peter O'Toole as Anton Ego. Michael Giacchino made the soundtrack.
History of ratatouille
It is believed that ratatouille was first made in the French countryside. The dish gets its name from a small town called "Toulouse," which is where it's thought to have originated when someone made this tasty vegetable stew and mispronounced the word, calling it "ratatouille."
Ratatouille was included in the book on French cooking by Alexandre Dumas called La cuisinière d'Argenteuil published in 1873. Dumas writes that he learned how to make the dish from a woman living in Argenteuil near Paris.
What makes an authentic ratatouille recipe? It should be cooked with eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, red bell peppers, tomatoes and onions. Other vegetables may also be included such as garlic cloves or thyme sprigs. Rice can also make up part of the ingredients for some versions of ratatouille. One thing that cannot happen though is too much water being added to cook everything!
How to make ratatouille
- Olive oil
- Onion, finely chopped
- Garlic clove, crushed
- Eggplant (aubergine), peeled and cubed
- Zucchini (courgette) sliced in rounds about ¼ inch thick
- Fresh tomatoes, skinned approx. 16 oz., seeded and diced
- Green bell pepper or pimento, cored and cut into strips ½-inch wide x ¾-inch long
- Dried oregano leaves
- Salt to taste
- Ground black pepper to taste
Optional: Some recipes will include cherry tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, summer vegetables (including summer squash), fresh basil, a bay leaf, red pepper flakes, and / or a poached egg - which you can add, but we've excluded to keep the recipe simple.
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and sautee onion, garlic cloves and eggplant until softened.
- Add zucchini (courgette), tomatoes, green bell pepper or pimento and dried oregano leaves to the pot.
- Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste.
- Cover with lid for about 20 minutes on low heat once vegetables are cooked through.
- Serve with a crusty bread and enjoy!
Final thoughts on ratatouille
Hope you enjoyed this article on ratatouille!
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