Happy Bastille Day ~ Ratatouille

Happy Bastille Day! La Fête Nationale!

I used this holiday as an opportunity to celebrate the cuisine of France. I tried a classic that I have never tried before…Ratatouille. It’s a perfect summertime dish because it is made up of many vegetables that are in season at the moment. It is simple and healthy and delicious. A perfect combination in my book :).

I was inspired by the Epicurious.com website since they laid out several French menus for the holiday. I followed their recipe for ratatouille from Gourmet magazine very closely since, as one reviewer said, it’s “the gold standard of ratatouille.” How can I possibly improve upon that? 😉 I am just passing it along to you if you’d like to have a sunny French meal this summer!


1 onion, sliced thin

2 garlic cloves, minced

5 tablespoons olive oil

A 3/4-pound eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)

1 small zucchini, scrubbed, quartered lengthwise, and cut into thin slices

1 red bell pepper, chopped

3/4 pound small ripe tomatoes, chopped coarse (about 1 1/4 cups)

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled

1/8 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup shredded fresh basil leaves

In a large skillet cook the onion and the garlic in 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil and heat it over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking. Add the eggplant and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes, or until the eggplant is softened. Stir in the zucchini and the bell pepper and cook the mixture over the moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 12 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the oregano, the thyme, the coriander, the fennel seeds, the salt, and pepper to taste and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the basil and combine the mixture well. The ratatouille may be made 1 day in advance, kept covered and chilled, and reheated before serving.

Garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme if you have it on hand. Serve as a main course with a baguette or as a side dish.

Bon appétit!


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