Typical to Provençal cookery and originally from Niece, the popular and succulent Ratatouille brightens up any table and adds flavour, aroma and packs you with many of the nutrients you need.
Ratatouille is originally a vegetable stew, which was first designated as an appetiser, however, is nowadays used as part of different classic preparations such as omelettes, and scrambled eggs. It is also served as a side to roasts, braised fish, chicken and small cuts of meat.
The original Ratatouille Niçoise is prepared using vegetables such as onions, zucchinis, eggplants, assorted capsicums and tomato, along with Provençal herbs which are all simmered to a smooth creamy consistency in olive oil. For the purist – and in following the steps of the preparation from the finest Provençal Chefs – the vegetables should be separately cooked, then combined to be cooked together to finish. Mostly had as is, and in many occasions finished by immersing in a cooked tomato sauce. In the traditional cuisine, it was customary for the vegetables to be cubed (medium size cubes), but with the modern cuisine and emphasis on presentation, chefs started changing around with the presentation of this dish, creating many designs to include flower shaped ratatouilles where the vegetables are lined as petals of a large flower, as well as batonned vegetables that are then tied with leaks to form bundles…etc.
Besides the heavenly flavours of ratatouille, what is great about this dish is that it is open to any design that you wish to present it with. The use of different vegetables allow for different colours too, so no matter what you end up doing, this dish is most certainly to always impress.
Serve ratatouille as is alongside a leafy green salad for a light lunch, or you can serve it with wild rice for a heartier vegan meal. Otherwise you can always serve it alongside roasts, grills, fish en papillote…etc. Finally, as the french often do, serve the ratatouille next to an omelette or fried eggs for an excellent brunch option on those fridays when you are feeling like a champion!