Niçoise-Style Ratatouille

This recipe is from my textbook so it’s strictly very, very French. It tastes great. When I made it the first time in class, my partner and I couldn’t stop eating it.

For a quicker recipe, click here for Quick Ratatouille.

[100% organic]

  • 4 plum tomatoes
  • 6 TBS blended oil (3 TBS canola oil + 3 TBS olive oil)
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 small green pepper, cut into small squares
  • 1 small red pepper, cut into small squares
  • 8 TBS tomato juice
  • 2 TBS tomato paste
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • Bouquet garni with basil leaves
  • 1 large eggplant, cut into small squares
  • 1 zucchini, cut into small squares
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • 2 baguettes, sliced
  • Extra olive oil, for frying

Boil the tomatoes for 15 seconds in boiling water to remove the skin. Place in cold water with ice to stop the cooking process. Remove the skin with a pairing knife, cut the tomato in half (length-wise), then remove the seeds. Reserve those for later, and then roughly chop the flesh. Strain the seeds and save the juice.

Place the eggplant in a colander and sprinkle lightly with salt. Let it disgorge while continuing with the recipe.

Heat 3 TBS of the oil in a pot on medium heat, add the onion and sweat for 5 minutes. Add the diced green and red bell peppers and cook for another 5 minutes. Add in the tomato flesh, and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Season each vegetable lightly when they are added to the pot.

Pour in the 8 TBS of tomato juice along with the juices from the tomato seeds, tomato paste, and the smashed garlic and bouquet garni. Cover, and simmer gently for 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

Heat ⅓ of the remaining oil in a wide pan until very hot, and add the zucchini. Sauté until lightly golden and then transfer to a colander to drain. Season with salt and thyme.

For the disgorged eggplant, strain and slightly squeeze out some of the liquid within. Dry the eggplant well with paper towels. Heat the remainder of the oil in the same pan and sauté the eggplant until golden. Drain the eggplant.

Add the zucchini and eggplant to the cooking vegetables and continue to cook for another 15 minutes, so that all the vegetables are completely tender and their flavors have melded. Remove the bouquet garni and adjust the seasoning.

Serve with croutons from fried baguette slices in olive oil. Be careful, they fry quickly.

*Adapted from the French Culinary Institute.

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