Before we get to the recipe, here’s a little background story on why I’m posting this right now:
After the movie, I was craving a big steaming bowl of Ratatouille. It’s been one of my all-time favorite meals for years, but I’d never fixed it at home after my kids were old enough to make “yuck” faces at large pieces of green pepper and cooked onion in their food.
My children are quite a bit more grown up in their food tastes now, so I figured there probably wouldn’t be too many “yuck” faces when they saw eggplant, green/red/yellow peppers, and onion chunks swimming in their bowls.
Much to my surprise, EVERYONE liked it, even my pickiest eater (although she did pick out some of the onions and peppers as I suspected she would). But the flavor was rated “Yummy!” by everyone.
I’m not sure they would’ve been quite so willing to try it if it hadn’t been for the movie. Sometimes introducing children to diverse food items is just a matter of using a little creative timing.
- 1/2 cup olive oil (more or less)
- 2 large onions, sliced (or one gigantic one like I used)
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 medium-sized eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 4-6 medium sized zucchini (or one humungous one from the garden), thickly sliced
- 2 green peppers, seeded and cut into chunks (I used 1 green pepper and 1/2 each of a red pepper and yellow pepper .. makes it more colorful)
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. basil
- 1/4 cup fresh minced parsley (I was out of parsley so didn’t use it … didn’t miss it, either)
- 4 large tomatoes, cut in chunks
- Over high heat, heat olive oil in a large pan or Dutch oven. Add onions and garlic and cook until softened but not brown.
- Stir in eggplant, zucchini, peppers, salt, basil and parsley. Add a little more oil if needed to keep the veggies from sticking.
- Cover and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir gently and carefully to retain shape of veggies as they soften.
- Add tomatoes. Stir gently. Add more oil if sticking.
- Cover and cook over medium-low heat for an additional 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
This is best if served a day or more after preparation. It can be served hot, cold, or at room temperature.