View Full Version : Ratatouille with Ratatouille

07-10-2010, 03:55 AM
The other evening I had a couple friends over and made ratatouille and had sort of a "French" themed evening. We ended up popping in the Disney movie "Ratatouille".

Afterwards, I thought it sounded very family-friendly and fun! (I know that we at least thought it was fun!)

Besides serving the ratatouille, I also offered:
Bread (a demi-loaf of wheat from Target - any fresh bread would do)
Brie cheese (Presidente Light Brie, also from Target)
Red Grapes
A bottle of Bordeaux (substitute grape juice or sparkling grape juice for youngsters)
For dessert, sherbet served in short champagne glasses.

The recipe is super-easy to follow & make (or else I would not have bothered). It ends up being a stew being very low in liquid (not the stacked casserole shown in the film. HA!) Courtesy of the "Martha Stewart Everyday Food" magazine, October 2010.


1 can (28 oz.) whole peeled tomatoes
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large eggplant (1 lb.) cut into 1-inch pieces
course salt & ground pepper
2 large yellow onions (1 lb. total) diced large
1 head garlic, cloves smashed & peeled
2 bell peppers (any color) seeded & diced large
2 large zucchini (1 lb. total) diced large
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon fresh marjoram or oregano leaves
2 to 3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place tomatoes and juices on a rimmed baking sheet and use your hands to break tomatoes into 3/4-inch pieces. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil and bake until thickened, 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. (Also, I initially seasoned w/ S&P. Breaking up the tomatoes would be fun for kids)

2. Meanwhile, in a colander, toss eggplant with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Let sit 20 minutes, then squeeze out excess liquid (I found the squeezing out unnecessary). In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat 4 tablespoons oil over medium. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally (kids will like to stir), until translucent, 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until onions and garlic are soft, 5 minutes. Add peppers and cook, stirring, until crisp-tender, 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Add tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, bay leaf, and marjoram to pot. Cook, stirring occasionally (again, kids love to stir) until mixture comes to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover and cook at a gentle simmer until vegetables are tender but not mushy, 15 minutes. Season to taste with vinegar, salt, and pepper.

per 3/4 cup: 85 cal., 5.5 g. fat (0.8 g. sat fat), 1.6 g. protein, 8.3 g. carbs., 2.5 g. fiber

I think the trick is to taste and season as you go. I like to season with every layer. Every time you add an (or set of) ingredients: season. At the end, when it tells you to add the S&P and vinegar, just add enough to your taste. I'm not sure I ended up adding quite 2 tbsp. vinegar and THAT much S&P. You kind of want to leave that up to your guests, I think. Just add enough to taste, do everything in moderation.

07-10-2010, 04:00 AM
I used 2 yellow peppers. It gave a variation in color to the dish more than anything (But green peppers are the sharpest, yellow peppers are mild, and red are the sweetest. Definitely core & remove seeds from any pepper).

Also, I S&P'd the onions when I was cooking them.

Also, I used dried generic marjoram (and bay leaf) from Target. Still tasted good. Unless you are fortunate to have your own garden of fresh herbs, dried are just as good...

07-10-2010, 11:24 AM
Gwen, did you get a final sodium content on that 3/4 cup?

07-10-2010, 02:00 PM
I'm neither an eggplant nor a zucchini fan :blech: - much to John's dismay - but I guess I'd be willing to give this a try.

08-10-2010, 01:02 AM
#1, I apparently can't spell...nice job on the title, eh?

#2, No, I am not sure of the soduim content. It pretty much just depends on how much salt and vinegar you season with. Also, there is probably some sodium in the canned tomatoes.