Ratatouille

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We now have huge quantities in the garden of everything we need to make ratatouille, or chichoumeille as it’s called in the Languedoc, or samfaïna in Catalan….and there are probably as many names for this combination of Mediterranean vegetables as there are languages and dialects around the region.

There are differences of opinion among cookery writers as to how this quite simple dish should be prepared.  We think it’s best if the roughly chopped pieces of each of the different vegetables – onion, green pepper, courgette, aubergine, but not tomato – are sautéed separately in olive oil before they are all combined with the peeled and chopped tomatoes, some garlic, herbs, salt and pepper, and then the whole mixture is simmered for about three-quarters of an hour.  Once it’s made it can be kept in the fridge for a few days to be reheated or served cold, and the flavour improves with keeping.  We’ll freeze some of ours, but you can bottle it too, putting it in jars at the stage when you mix the vegetables and then heating them in a steriliser.  I haven’t tried this last method yet so I’m  not sure about timing.  I’ll have to ask friends and neighbours who do this.

10 thoughts on “Ratatouille

  1. They are the best looking vegetables – particularly the green peppers – and beautifully shot. I love ratatouille but am of the school that leaves out the courgettes, but that fits with the endless variety of ways to make this fantastic dish.

    • Sometimes I leave out the courgettes too. As you say, there’s an endless variety of ways to make it – all delicious – and it’s something you can make with the combination of vegetables that you have available.

  2. Hello, I just discovered your blog. I have enjoyed reading about the simple vegetable dishes that you have prepared. Fresh summer vegetables are so good. I have never heard of a grafted vegetable plant.

  3. You’ve reminded me how much I like ratatouille. Now that I’ve remembered I’ll be making some later in the week. I’ll be making bread to go with it too.
    Thanks for reminding me.

  4. I saw an inteview with Gilles Goujan (3* Michelin in the Aude) on France 2 and he agrees with you about the method for Ratatouille. I mostly make it like this too but also sometimes use tinned tomatoes for one daughter who prefers more sauce, or cook it in the oven for a very long time on a low heat for friends who love it “confit”.

    It is a weekly dish in our house until after the vendanges.

    Leftovers are lovely with pasta and a poached egg.

  5. Lovely veggies! I don’t think there is a *wrong* way to make ratatouille… and don’t you just love the *word*? It sounds much more staccato than it tastes…. mmmm!

  6. I love ratatouille!! I once read a french website that says exactly the same thing you said as regards to cooking vegetables separately, and then combining them. By the way, I am sure that whichever method you use for making ratatouille, it will be great with those beautiful vegetables!!

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