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Ratatouille a Provencal Classic

All month I’ve been sharing my favorite things as a way to celebrate August as my birthday month.

There are so many dishes that I love to make and eat it’s impossible to make a shortlist of favorites. And lately, I’ve been craving Ratatouille. I guess that’s because I’ve been preparing to return to Provence for the first time since 2019 and Provence is where this slow-simmered favorite originated.

Ratatouille emerged in the 1700’s. This humble dish was created out a necessity, farmers had many hungry mouths to feed. Left over vegetables, were stewed with onions, garlic and herbs to create a very tasty course stew that could go a long way to filling empty bellies.

Tune into my Instagram page today, to see me making Ratatouille!

To make this classic dish, now generally served as a side dish, begin by cooking onions in olive oil until they are clear. Add garlic, tomatoes and bell peppers in a variety of colors.

Cook the vegetable for 20 minutes with herbs de Provence and a dash of Piment d’Espelette, to add some warmth to the dish. Finally add the zucchini, eggplant, and summer squash and simmer for at least 45 minutes. Add fresh herbs and you are ready to serve this flavor-packed dish. Note that eggplant is a traditional ingredient and I often make Ratatouille without it because I dont often buy eggplant.

Serve Ratatouille alongside any protein or try this recent variation for Ratatouille, top grilled salmon with Ratatouille, add black olives, and sprinkle with fresh herbs.

Classic Ratatouille

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

dash Piment d’Espelette

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.

This recipe for ratatouille, makes a lot so it’s good to have several ways to serve it.

Ratatouille Tart

1 sheet puff pastry

2 eggs

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 the edges are browned. Allow the tart to cool before removing it from the pan. Serve at once or at room temperature.

If you are not already following along, join me and my group as we explore the vibrant region of Provence. Just check out my Instagram and Facebook it will be like you are along with us! If you think you might like to travel with me in 2024, get on the waitlist NOW. Details will be coming very soon!

Thanks for helping me celebrate my birthday this month!

XO
Lorie

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Lorie Fangio | A Taste of Paris

Meet Lorie Fangio

Lorie Fangio is a teaching chef and the founder of A Taste of Paris culinary excursions. She shares her extensive knowledge of French food & culture through cooking classes, regular TV appearances, local publications, and speaking engagements. She is an award-winning food & lifestyle blogger with a zest for gathering people around a table.

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