This easy ratatouille recipe is the perfect use for leftover summer veggies, it’s wonderfully fresh and flavorful and hearty, and it’s ultra-simple when sautéd together in a large pot (instead of the traditional method of neatly layering all of those veggies). I highly recommend serving it with a good crusty baguette.
This is the time of year when all of Kansas City comes downtown to visit my little neighborhood. And it’s crazy and it’s chaotic and our streetcar is packed to the gills and people regularly park in my reserved space and the line at my coffee shop takes an eternity…but I love it. ?
As many of you know, when I quit my last job and decided to freelance from home and suddenly realized that I was free to live absolutely anywhere I wanted in Kansas City, my decision was a no-brainer — I wanted to live as close to my favorite market in town as possible. Luckily, the stars aligned that summer, and I stumbled into a lease in an unknown little apartment building literally right across the street from the market. And now over 5 years later, I’ve been thrilled to call my little nook of the River Market home ever since.
I just love this neighborhood.
And — one of the surprise joys of marriage has been actually been getting to fall in love with this neighborhood all over again now that I’m seeing it through Barclay’s eyes. This past weekend, for example, we had a wide open day on Saturday and were brainstorming the night before about places we could go or things we could do. But then he got this little sparkle in his eye and said, “Actually, how about we just have a relaxing day in the neighborhood? Grab some coffee at Quay, go by the market, maybe ride the streetcar somewhere nearby for lunch, have a reading date at home, a drink at Farmhouse…”
Annnnd….cue all the feels. ? ? ?
It ended up being the best day. And made me so thankful yet again for the season that I — and now we — have been able to call this precious neighborhood home. And even though the market was absolutely jam-packed with people all weekend, I was thankful for the thousandth time to be able to walk across the street and soak up the scene and bring home the most beautiful rainbow of veggies for us this week — many of which I used to toss into this easy ratatouille recipe, which I’m convinced everyone needs to make at least once during the summertime.
Have you ever made homemade ratatouille before?
(Or watched the movie? ??)
It’s one of my favorite dishes to make each summer because it’s the perfect way to showcase so many of everyone’s favorite season veggies! Traditional French ratatouille typically calls for eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, garlic, and lots and lots of fresh herbs. And then for fancy presentation, all of those vegetables are typically thinly-sliced and layered in a rainbow pattern in a baking dish, then baked atop a simple tomato sauce — which is gorgeous and awesome. But also time-consuming and tedious. ?
So instead, I love just sautéing and simmering all of those same ingredients together to create more of a rustic ratatouille stew. And guys, it couldn’t be easier.
Just chop up all of those veggies into bite-sized pieces, sauté them with garlic (I use lots of garlic) and fresh herbs (I really love rosemary and basil) and a splash of wine until everything is cooked and tender. If you’d like a more mushy, stew-y consistency, feel free to simmer the veggies a little longer over low heat. But I like to sauté them just until they’re cooked through, and then serve immediately while they still retain their shape and colors. Up to you!
Then…voila! This huge, gorgeous, vibrant pot full of fresh veggies will be yours to enjoy!!
I love serving mine simply with a good crusty baguette. But it’s also delicious served over pasta or quinoa or rice. And of course, always feel free to add in some of your favorite protein (cooked sausage, chicken, steak, etc.) if you’d like.
Seriously, so simple, so seasonal, and so delicious.
This easy ratatouille recipe is the perfect use for leftover summer veggies, it’s wonderfully fresh and flavorful and hearty, and it’s ultra-simple when sautéd together in a large pot (instead of the traditional method of neatly layering all of those veggies).
1 medium eggplant, cut into bite-sized pieces
Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium white onion, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
6 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
2 bell peppers, cored and cut into bite-sized pieces
2 large zucchini, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 pints fresh cherry or grape tomatoes
2 tablespoons finely-chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
1 large sprig fresh rosemary (or 2 sprigs fresh thyme)
1/2 cup dry white wine* (or dry red wine)
Add diced eggplant to a colander, and toss with 1 teaspoon salt. Let sit 15 minutes, then rinse and squeeze out excess liquid.
Meanwhile, in a large Dutch oven or stockpot, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, bell peppers, and zucchini, and sauté for an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are mostly cooked through.
Stir in the eggplant, tomatoes, basil, red pepper flakes, bay leaf, and rosemary, and cook for 10** more minutes, stirring occasionally. Slowly add in the wine, stirring the bottom of the pan to scrape up any brown bits that may have formed. Cook for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and black pepper, and remove the bay leaf and rosemary.
Serve warm, with a side of crusty bread, quinoa, rice or pasta. (I also recommend sprinkling on some Parmesan cheese, if you’d like.)
*If you do not cook with wine, feel free to substitute in 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock + 1/4 cup red wine vinegar instead of the wine.
**If you would like more of a stew consistency, feel free to reduce the heat to medium-low after 10 minutes, cover, and simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes.