Traditional Ratatouille Recipe:
2 Red Bell Peppers, medium diced
2 Lg. Zucchini, medium diced
1 Lg. Eggplant, medium diced
2 med. Onions, medium diced
5 cloves Garlic, minced fine
2 T. Tomato Paste
1 lg. Tomato, deseeded and small diced
1 T Fresh thyme, picked leaves
2 Bay leaves
¼ C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
To Taste Salt and pepper
To Taste Acid, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, or sherry vinegar
Optional seasoning Cinnamon, red wine, fresh basil, mint, hot sauce
Procedure: As our Good Friend Julia Child said, "Ratatouille perfumes the kitchen with the essence of Provence and is certainly one of the great Mediterranean dishes!"
Sauté diced onion and bay leaf in olive oil for 2-3 minutes, add in bell pepper and sauté for another 2 minutes stirring frequently. Season the onions and peppers with a touch of salt while cooking. This helps the vegetables sauté nicely with no color. Sauté in the eggplant, zucchini, and garlic. Now add in tomato paste and cook for another 2 minutes stirring constantly. Cover with parchment or wax paper and tin foil. Bake in a preheated 300 F oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and add in the rest of the ingredients. Let the ratatouille cook for another couple of minutes, stirring frequently. The ratatouille should have more of a stewed appearance. If this is not the case, slowly cook down over low heat, stirring often, until the moisture cooks out. Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, sugar, acid, and optional seasoning. Serve on hearty toast point, or with chicken, lamb, beef, pork, or hearty seafood.