DishBase Cooking RecipesRegister to create your recipe box


» Home
» Recipes
» Blog
» Encyclopedia
» Software


The word ratatouille comes from Occitan "ratatolha". In is also used in French ("touiller," also means to toss food). Ratatouille originated in the area around present day Occitan Provença (French: Provence) & Niça (French: Nice). It was originally a common dish, prepared in the summer with fresh summer vegetables. The original Ratatolha de Niça used only courgettes (zucchini), tomatoes, green and red peppers (bell peppers), onion, and garlic. The dish known today as ratatouille adds aubergine (eggplant) to that mixture. Many restaurants make their own ratatouille with some "sugar and spice" to enhance the flavor.

Ratatouille is usually served as a side dish, but also may be served as a meal on its own (accompanied by rice, or simple doesbread). Tomatoes are a key ingredient, with garlic, onions, zucchini (courgettes), aubergine (eggplant), bell peppers (poivron), some herbes de Provence. All the ingredients are sautéed lightly in olive oil.

There are two common ways to prepare ratatouille. The ingredients can be cooked separately and combined together towards the end of the cooking time; alternatively, the garlic, onions, zucchini, aubergine, and peppers can be cooked together for an extended time over low heat, and combined with the tomatoes when soft and beginning to brown. The key to either method of preparation is making sure the vegetables, and especially the aubergine, are cooked sufficiently.

When ratatouille is used as a filling for savory crepes or to fill an omelette, the pieces are sometimes cut smaller than in the illustration. Also, unnecessary moisture is reduced by straining the liquid with a colander into a bowl, reducing it in a hot pan, then adding one or two tablespoons of reduced liquid back into the vegetables.
Published by Irene on Apr 19, 2008

Add a comment

You must be logged in to add comments. Please log in or register.