A Parisian Bistro Classic, Ratatouille Recipe
When I’m lucky enough to dine in a Parisian Bistro, I make my menu selection from the chalkboard. In France, these blackboards, also known as andoise, show the daily specials or in some cases, the entire menu. My eyes quickly scan for a favorite dish, Ratatouille.
This stew made entirely of vegetables and herbs, originated in 18th century Provence. It humbly began in farmers’ kitchens where fresh summer vegetables were plentiful. Cooking vegetables odds and ends together with an abundance of fresh herbs made a tasty and nutritious dish.
I like Ratatouille the best when it’s cooked down to a thick paste and that’s how I make it at my house. I make a large batch and serve it several different ways, first as a side dish for fish.
I like to eat Ratatouille as a sandwich spread and if I’m having guests for cocktails, I will use what’s left of the Ratatouille for this scrumptious tart. Amazing with a glass of champagne!
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 red bell peppers, sliced thin
2 green bell peppers, sliced thin
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
3 ounces tomato paste
1 small eggplant, chopped
2 summer squash, sliced thin
2 zucchini squash, sliced thin
1 teaspoon herbs de Provence
½ cup fresh basil, torn into pieces
¼ cup parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large skillet or chef’s pan, set over medium heat, sauté onions in olive oil until they are clear, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, peppers, tomatoes, tomato paste, and herbs de Provence and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add eggplant and squash and simmer for 30-45 minutes until vegetables are very tender. Add fresh herbs, salt, and pepper to taste and serve.
1 sheet puff pastry
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
2/3 cup crème Fraiche
2 cloves garlic, pressed
½ recipe Ratatouille, cooked
1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Roll out the puff pastry on a floured surface to eliminate any creases. Place the pastry into a greased 6-8-inch tart pan being careful not to stretch it. Press the pastry into all the ridges of the pan and cut any remaining overhang. Prick the pastry bottom with a fork very well. Prepare the filling by mixing the eggs, parmesan, crème Fraiche and garlic in a medium bowl with a whisk until combined well. Pour the mixture into the prepared tart pan. Spoon cooked Ratatouille, into the tart pan spreading it evenly. Dot the top with halved tomatoes and bake for 25-28 minutes until the tart is puffed and edges are browned. Allow the tart to cool before removing it from the pan. Serve at once or at room temperature.
I hope you’ll try my Parisian bistro favorite, classic Ratatouille, and let me know how you like it.