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Ratatouille refers to a traditional stewed preparation made using vegetables from the Provençal region of France, created in Nice. Ratatouille niçoise is the complete connotation of the preparation.

It is a traditional preparation from France made using eggplants, zucchini and tomatoes. It is commonly had alongside lamb, meats or poultry including fish. It is also a part of wholesome meal served with couscous or rice.

History of Ratatouille
The term Ratatouille hails from Occitan term ratatolha and the recipe is borrowed out of Occitan cuisine. “Touiller” is a French word meaning “to toss food”. Ratatouille recipewas born in and around the present day Occitan region of Nice and Provence. The xamfaina from Catalan and the tombet from Majorcan are other variations of the dish.

Ingredients Used and Popular Methods of Preparation of Ratatouille
Ratatouille recipeuses tomatoes as the major ingredient in addition to aubergine or eggplant, garlic, courgettes or zucchini, poivron or bell peppers, onions, carrot, basil or bay leaf, thyme, and marjoram. Herbs or combination of herbs such as green herbs including herbes de Provence can also be made use of. The making of the usual Ratatouille is much under contradiction. A usual way is by just sautéing the entire vegetables as once. In another recipe popular among cooks insist a layering method is employed in which the courgettes and aubergine are individually sautéed and the, onion, garlic, tomatoes and bell peppers are prepared as a sauce. The Ratatouille is thereafter laid in layers in a casserole consisting– courgettes, aubergine, tomato/pepper combination and then baked.

Serving and Eating Ratatouille
Ratatouille is normally served as a side dish, although it may also be served as a very meal by itself along with rice, bread or pasta.It can also be used as a filling in savory crêpes or in an omelette. Besides, unwanted moisture is decreased by filtering the liquid in a colander to a bowl, decreasing it within a hot pan adding one or two tablespoons of the decreased liquid again to the vegetables.

Popular Ratatouille Variations

Stuffed aubergine preparations resembling Ratatouille recipeare common in Greek, Ligurian (Rattatuia), Bulgarian, Maltese, Dalmatian/Croatian, Turkish, Persian, Venetian and Sicilian cuisine, although can consist of salted sardines and anchovies. Dishes similar to this include the Spanish dish- pisto manchego and Pinakbet from Philippines.

Ratatouille recipecan be made with optional variations. Varied inclusions such as seitan, sauteed firm tofu, diced chicken and different seasonal vegetables. Toppings such as grated cheese can be added before serving.

Ratatouille recipecan be prepared in vegan versions or with meat.

Health and Nutrition Facts of Ratatouille

Ratatouille is normally low in fat content. The only source of fat is the olive oil. Eliminating the olive oil from the recipe can make a fat-free preparation.

This dish also has considerably low sodium. Care should be taken while using canned tomatoes. It is better to use tomatoes free of added sodium.

Miscellaneous Facts About Ratatouille
In the animated film Ratatouille(2007) the American chef Thomas Keller propagated a newer variation called confit byaldi.