Having tried our recipe for ratatouille today, you will be amazed - can a dish of vegetables alone be so tasty ?! Maybe, and how! And besides - spectacular, colorful, interesting. Offer your home or guests a nice French ratatouille from Nice for dinner.
Ratatouille is not only a famous cartoon, but also a noteworthy recipe. The dish appeared back in the 19th century: a reference to the first ratatouille is contained in a cookbook published in 1778. A modern cartoon is called the recipe, according to which chef Remy, a cute little rat, prepares his signature dish.
The intriguing name for this chic summer recipe comes from the чного rata ’, the vernacular“ food ”in the dialect of French peasants (originally ratatouille was the food of poor farmers, as the dish is made from available vegetables, which grow in abundance in summer in beds). Interestingly, in English ‘rat’ is a rat, which is probably why it acts as a cartoon chef.
And the second part of the word Ratatouille, ‘touiller’, means “mix” - because in one version the ratatouille is made by chopping vegetables into cubes and stirring like our stew. Many peoples have an analogue of the French ratatouille: the Spaniards have the pisto, the Italians have the caponate, the Hungarians have the lecho.
But in different countries and even among various culinary specialists, the dish turns out to be different. Ratatouille, like borsch, everyone has his own! A variety of spices are added to the basic ingredients - zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, onions and garlic. The classic version - with Provencal herbs - basil, rosemary, mint. However, you can add what you love and what grows in your latitudes - dill, parsley, arugula ... Also, plus the vegetables listed above, eggplant was added, which is why the dish only won.
The difference is not only in taste, but also in the way the ratatouille is served. The most straightforward option is to cut the vegetables into cubes. But much more interesting and effective is to slice them - that is, cut into thin circles and lay out in rows or in a spiral. And the usual "stew" immediately turns into a restaurant dish!
For slicing, it is convenient to use a slicer, but if one is not available on the farm, it is quite possible to cut vegetables with a sharp knife.
It is important that all vegetables need to be selected of the same diameter, even - then it will be easy to cut them into the same circles, and the dish will turn out beautiful.
Ingredients for Ratatouille
(depending on the size of your baking dish):
- 1-2 zucchini or young zucchini;
- 1-2 small eggplant;
- 5-7 tomatoes.
For tomato sauce:
- 4 medium tomatoes;
- 1 onion;
- 1 sweet bell pepper, preferably red;
- 1 hot red chili pepper - optional;
- salt, sugar, ground black pepper to taste;
- 1-2 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
- a bunch of parsley;
- 1-2 cloves of garlic.
Choose small zucchini so that the peel is thin and the seeds small. Tomatoes for cutting are not too ripe: stronger ones are easier to cut into thin circles. But for the sauce you need very ripe, soft tomatoes.
The method of preparation of the ratatouille
Cut the eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes into circles of equal diameter, 2-3 mm thick: the thinner the easier the vegetables will be laid out in a circle or in a spiral, and they will bake faster.
In order for the bitter taste of eggplant to disappear, and the slices to become flexible, add circles and leave for 10 minutes, then rinse with water.
While the little blue ones are insisting, we will prepare tomato sauce for ratatouille. Peel and finely chop the onion. Rinse the bell pepper, peel the tail and core and cut into cubes.
We assassinate the onion in olive or sunflower oil until it is golden-transparent.
Add chopped sweet pepper to the onion and continue, stirring occasionally, sauté over low heat.
We will turn the tomatoes for the sauce into a paste: you can pour them with boiling water, then with cold water, remove the peel and cut into cubes. But it’s easier, after cutting the tomatoes, grate the pulp on a coarse grater.
Add tomatoes to the pepper and onion, simmer, stirring, 10-15 minutes on low heat. Then add a little chopped herbs, passed through a press or finely chopped garlic and spices: about 1/3 tsp. salts; 0.5 tsp sugar, a pinch of ground black pepper. The sauce is ready, you can proceed to the most fascinating part - laying out the ratatouille!
Having greased the baking dish with vegetable oil, put half the sauce on its bottom (and the second half we will water the finished ratatouille when serving).
Now we spread the circles of vegetables on the sauce, alternating: eggplant, tomato, zucchini. If you have a round shape, it will turn out beautifully if you lay out with a spiral or rings, and in the center make a flower. If the shape is rectangular, you can lay out circles in rows.
Sprinkle ratatouille on top with finely chopped parsley, basil, sprinkle lightly with vegetable oil and cover with a sheet of pastry parchment.
Bake at 180-200 ºС from 35 to 45 minutes - until the vegetables are soft (you can check with the tip of a knife, carefully removing the form and removing the paper).
To beautifully put the ratatouille on a plate, we pry the portions of vegetable mugs with a silicone spatula or spoon and, holding the fork on the other hand, transfer to a plate.
Serve ratatouille with tomato sauce, decorating the dish with herbs. It is tasty in both warm and cooled form. Even without a side dish and without meat!
The only caveat - if you generously sprinkled ratatouille with oil, plus poured too much oil into the sauce - the dish may seem greasy, then you should eat it with the addition of rice or potatoes and, of course, bread.