Provençal Cooking

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!


Serves: 4
  • 1 large eggplant, washed and sliced into thin disks
  • 1 small red capsicum, sliced into thin disks
  • 1 small yellow or orange capsicum, sliced into thin disks
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced into thin disks
  • 4 small zucchinis or 1/2 large one, sliced into thin disks
  • 1 large red onion,sliced into thin disks
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2-3 tbsp DS Organic Pickled Zaatar
  • a few fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • black pepper & salt flakes to taste
  • 2 tbsp DS Premium Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil + 2 tbsp extra

Using a cast iron skillet is very nouveau cuisine, it is stylish and looks good on the table. However, not just good looking, but the heat conductivity of cast iron makes it the perfect medium to cook these vegetables nicely and allowing them to develop their flavours deeply. Also a cast iron skillet with iron handles can go into the oven, which is needed in this recipe. Make sure your skillet is seasoned, oiled and ready to go. (follow this link for how to season cast iron cookware)

Preheat the oven to 400F-200C

Start by mixing the olive oil, pickled zaatar, crushed garlic, salt and black pepper in a bowl together. Set aside.

Prepare your vegetables, slicing them and brushing the eggplants with acidulated water (water with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice) to avoid blackening.

In a large bowl, place the vegetable slices and add the flavoured olive oil. Fold all to coat all the vegetables with the oil mixture.

Start lining the vegetables in the skillet as you see in the picture. Once all lined, drizzle any remaining oil mixture over the lined vegetables.

Season with extra black pepper and a lightly with salt flakes.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25-35 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked through.

In the meantime, chop some parsley and mint leaves, then sprinkle these on top of the ratatouille once done.

Missing the Farmers Market season already! We are only 1 month over, but already missing the local fresh produce and the amazing Friday mornings at the market! There are however some remaining local organic vegetables at the supermarkets, not in the same abundance, but still a few are available. I hope you guys are choosing those.

Speaking of the farming season, this recipe lends itself really well to any variety of vegetables. It is an excellent choice for cooking seasonal. So do by all means use the vegetables available at the current season. And yes you guessed it, since you are at it, do choose organic.

Bon Apetit!

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