Recipe submitted by Sr. Tracey Dugas, FSP
When you hear the word Ratatouille, what pops into your head first?
If you are anything like me, your first thoughts probably include a cute little animated mouse with a good sense of humor and a well-developed palate. Oh, and mean cooking skills, too.
Disney’s film Ratatouille entertained audiences of all ages… and made them hungry at the same time. The Ratatouille movie revived popular interest in the classic simple French Provencal dish of the same name. If you have never had the pleasure of enjoying Ratatouille, allow me to describe the dish for you.
Imagine a classic French enameled cast-iron pot with alternating slices of eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini or summer squash, sweet bell peppers, and onions cooked down in extra-virgin olive oil, white wine, and seasoned with a dash of salt, slices of fresh garlic and finished off with a sprinkling of herbs de Provence.
Can you smell it?
It smells like summer. As a matter of fact, Ratatouille the perfect summer side dish, as it utilizes fresh summer vegetables, and it is usually served at room temperature, or even chilled on really hot summer days.
Ratatouille is truly a classic French dish. And, like any classic dish, every cook adds a bit of his or her own personality and tastes to it. It’s like Gumbo in south Louisiana. Every Gumbo is a little different from all the others, yet they are all still Gumbo.
Recently, right around Father’s Day, my friend Sr. Tracey Dugas, a Daughter of St. Paul, posted on Facebook her recipe for Ratatouille. She has graciously allowed me to post her recipe here on CatholicFoodie.com, and you can find it printed below.
Sr. T’s Ratatouille Recipe
- 1/4 cup good olive oil
- 2 small onions sliced
- 4 large garlic cloves chopped
- 2 small Japanese (long tubular) eggplant, sliced into thin slices
- 2 or 3 zucchini, sliced into thin slices
- 6 -8 small fresh tomatoes (cut off tops and drain juices and seeds in small bowl and set aside, then slice into thin slices
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1/2 tsp thyme leaves
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a dutch oven or heavy oven proof pot, heat half of the oil over medium-high heat and add the onions and garlic. Add salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Saute for 4 minutes or until unions just begin to get translucent and before garlic begins to brown. Leave onions on bottom of pot. (You will put other vegetables on top of this mix).
- Mix rest of olive oil into reserved tomato juices, add white wine. Salt and pepper generously. Add thyme and oregano. Mix well. Set aside.
- Line the pot with stacks of alternating tomato, eggplant and zucchini until you use it all up. (I stack them in my hand and then lay them down in the pot. Fill the pot and just stick the remaining slices along the sides of the pot). Pour tomato mix over layered veggies and cover them with a piece of parchment paper to size.
- Put lid on pot and bake for at least an hour.
- Serve hot.