Provençal Ratatouille

Today for Travel Tuesday we’re heading to France. Disney made a particularly artsy version of ratatouille famous but the original dish is much more rustic. Ratatouille originated in Provence, specifically in Nice, and is much more like a stew than the famous dish Americans recognize. Ratatouille is very simple to make and could not be healthier. There’s no fat at all (except for a bit of parmesan, which I highly recommend!) but an abundance of flavor. It’s truly a magical dish.

Provencal Ratatouille, Authentic French Recipe

In Nice ratatouille is traditionally eaten in the summer, when all of the vegetables are in season, but here in Texas we have a very long season for summer veggies. I think of ratatouille as a fall dish, when I still have an abundance of fresh vegetables but I want something a bit cozier to warm me up. I harvested six eggplants from my garden this week and decided I had to make a lovely bowl of ratatouille.

How to Grow Eggplant

Provencal Ratatouille, Authentic French Recipe

I find the layering process of ratatouille to be very soothing. You don’t need any oil or butter or liquid at all for this dish. The vegetables steam in the pot and the liquid from the eggplant and tomatoes make a wonderful broth. It’s all just very cozy. I’m cozy just typing this!

Provencal Ratatouille, Authentic French Recipe
I layer everything right in the pot before it’s on the stove

Provencal Ratatouille, Authentic French Recipe

Provencal Ratatouille, Authentic French Recipe
Ready for the stove!

I’ve been making ratatouille for over a decade and I’m still always in awe of how something so simple can be so tasty. If you adore veggies like me, and especially if you grow your own, you absolutely must make a pot of ratatouille! I’ve never loved it more than when I made it with my homegrown eggplants. These are literally the best tasting eggplants I’ve ever had. If you’ve never grown them before, I highly recommend it.

Provencal Ratatouille, Authentic French Recipe
Provençal Ratatouille
2 large eggplants (or 3 medium eggplants)
4 medium zucchini
4-6 large tomatoes
1 yellow onion
4-6 cloves of garlic
Sea salt, black pepper
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
2 fresh basil sprigs
Sea salt, pepper
Parmesan cheese

  1. Wash vegetables and cut into even, thick slices.
  2. Layer eggplant, tomatoes, diced onion, zucchini, garlic cloves, parsley and basil in a large pot, seasoning each layer as you go with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. Repeat layers until you fill the pot to the rim, cover, and cook on low heat for about 1.5 hours or until vegetables are nice and soft and your pot of vegetables has magically turned into stew.
  3. Cool for fifteen minutes, then serve with fresh basil and parmesan cheese. Delicious served over rice, with bread as a first course, or as an accompaniment to meat.

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Provencal Ratatouille, Authentic French Recipe

Happy stewing,

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