Ratatouille – the Ultimate French Dish from What if Its Love

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Ratatouille – the Ultimate French Dish

Ratatouille – the Ultimate French Dish from What if Its Love

Ratatouille is a traditional stewed vegetable dish from southern France. It’s usually served as a side to meat, fish and chicken, but can also be a meal in its own right if accompanied by baked potatoes, rice or pasta. There are different schools on how to make a ratatouille that would deliver an explosion of Mediterranean flavors in your mouth. The most debated questions are:

should the veggies be cooked together or separately?
should they be sautéed, baked or simmered, or any combination of the above?

Claude – the legendary chef at La Bohème (the bistro where Lena meets Rob in “What If It’s Love?) – cooks the best ratatouille this side of the Seine. I have been able to lay my hands on his recipe, but his approach requires time and skill that an amateur cook like you and me may not possess.

To remedy this unfortunate situation, here’s a simplified “quick and dirty” version of the dish, tested and improved in my kitchen.

French ratatouille with baked parmesan polenta

Ingredients

For ratatouille:

4 assorted bell peppers
1 eggplant
3 tomatoes
2 zucchini
1 large onion
2 clove garlic
2 tbsp fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, parsley) or 1tbsp dried herbs
2 tbsp olive oil

For polenta:

2 cup (450 g) instant polenta
1 oz (30 g) butter
2 oz (50 g) grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Rinse and chop vegetables; crush garlic cloves; preheat oven to 400 F (200 C)

2. In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp olive oil, sauté onion for a few minutes, then add eggplant, then peppers and cook for 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. In the meantime, start cooking polenta: bring 6 cup (1,3 l) salted water to a boil and pour in polenta in a slow steady stream whisking continuously; continue stirring over low to medium heat for 4-5 minutes until polenta thickens. Remove from heat, stir in parmesan and butter, and salt and pepper to taste.

5. Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper, spoon polenta into it and smooth the surface. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes, then remove from oven and allow to cool.

4. During that time, add zucchini, tomatoes, garlic and herbs to the vegetables in the skillet. Cover and cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes.

Serve warm or cold.

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Ratatouille – the Ultimate French Dish from What if Its Love
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: French
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ratatouille is a traditional stewed vegetable dish from southern France. It’s usually served as a side to meat, fish and chicken, but can also be a meal in its own right if accompanied by baked potatoes, rice or pasta. There are different schools on how to make a ratatouille that would deliver an explosion of Mediterranean flavors in your mouth.
Ingredients
  • For ratatouille:
  • 4 assorted bell peppers
  • 1 eggplant
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, parsley)
  • or 1 tbsp dried herbs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Polenta:
  • 2 cup (450 g) instant polenta
  • 1 oz (30 g) butter
  • 2 oz (50 g) grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Rinse and chop vegetables; crush garlic cloves; preheat oven to 400 F (200 C)
  2. In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp olive oil, sauté onion for a few minutes, then add eggplant, then peppers and cook for 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. In the meantime, start cooking polenta: bring 6 cup (1,3 l) salted water to a boil and pour in polenta in a slow steady stream whisking continuously; continue stirring over low to medium heat for 4-5 minutes until polenta thickens. Remove from heat, stir in parmesan and butter, and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper, spoon polenta into it and smooth the surface. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes, then remove from oven and allow to cool.
  5. During that time, add zucchini, tomatoes, garlic and herbs to the vegetables in the skillet. Cover and cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Serve warm or cold.
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About the Author:Alix_coffee_VS - copie

I am an avid reader of chick lit, romance and fantasy, caffeine addict and a badge-wearing Mr. Darcy/Colin Firth fan.

I released my first book at the age of six. It had six postcard-size pages stitched together and bound in velvet paper. The book was titled “Eliza and Robert” and had atrocious mistakes in every single word. Some words were written in mirror image. Unintentionally. I remember being immensely proud of my creation.

Turns out there’s a remarkable constancy to my life: decades later, I still love the name Robert and the genre romance. As for my spelling and grammar, they are only marginally better than at age six (thank God for editors!).

I live and work in Paris, France. When not writing, I read romance (what else?) and spend time with my family.

Sign up to Alix Nichols’s monthly Newsletter to get notified of new releases and offers, and receive a free ebook “Bistro La Bohème Cookbook: Quick and Easy French Recipes” (http://www.alixnichols.com/sign-me-up

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Becky

Wife, mother, grandma, blogger, all wrapped into one person, although it does not define her these are roles that are important to her. From empty nesters to living with our oldest and 2 grandchildren while our house is rebuilt after a house fire in 10/2018 my life is something new each day.

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Rosie
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Rosie

Wow this sounds so special I’d love to make it for company, and also make the polenta. Yum with fresh summer vegetables! A nice way to make people feel special!

Tamra Phelps
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Tamra Phelps

You know, I’ve never made ratatouille! This looks like a recipe I could try. Thanks!