French recipes

Ratatouille, the colors of the South of France

couronne thyme

Here’s a recipe that smells like summer and sunshine. Direction the South of France and its colorful vegetables. As soon as summer arrives, this recipe becomes a must for our table. What a pleasure to find eggplants, zucchinis, peppers, tomatoes on the market stalls… these vegetables full of sun and goodness have the perfume of Provence and the ratatouille is their most beautiful emblem.

Last weekend we went to visit my grandparents in the South of France. On our way home, we stopped to shop at a Provencal market. This gave me the opportunity to make my first ratatouille of the season. It is a rustic dish “par excellence” that goes well with meat and fish. It can be eaten hot, as a side dish, or cold, as an appetizer, for example on a slice of toasted bread like bruschetta. I like to prepare it in large quantities. The vegetables cooked in olive oil keep well and I can use it for 2 or 3 meals.

Making Ratatouille

Ratatouille is a dish full of benefits: a source of water and fiber, it is rich in vitamins and trace elements. There are many variations of ratatouille recipes. Everyone has their own version. Some like to cook all the vegetables together, some put in more or less zucchini or eggplant… if there are no fixed rules, making a successful ratatouille requires some know-how and especially, time and patience. First of all, you have to choose your vegetables carefully. Of course, fresh vegetables are used. Ratatouille is a summer dish that is prepared when the vegetables in season are at their best. The ratatouille must be simmered for a long time on low heat to bring out all its flavors. The recipe I am suggesting is my mother’s, I am sure she would agree to share it. It has always been a great success!



Season: summer
Course Side Dish
Cuisine French
Servings 6


  • ripe tomatoes 1 kg
  • green, yellow or red peppers 3
  • small zucchinis 5
  • eggplants 3
  • onions 2
  • cloves of garlic 3
  • tomato paste 1 tbsp
  • olive oil
  • sugar 1 pinch
  • Thym, rosemary, bay leaf, oregano, cumin (optional)
  • salt and pepper


  • Rinse all vegetables.
  • Cut peppers, zucchinis and eggplants into brunoise (small cubes).
  • Peel the garlic and the onions and chop them.
  • Slit the skin of the tomatoes, scald them for 10 seconds and peel them.
  • Cut them in half, remove seeds and crush them.
  • Heat the olive oil in a casserole dish. When the oil is hot, add the eggplants. Stir regularly. Add more oil if the eggplants are grilling too quickly. They tend to absorb a lot of oil while cooking.
  • Add a clove of finely chopped garlic at the end of cooking.
  • When they are golden, season them and remove them with a skimmer. Set them aside in a dish.
  • In the same pot, repeat the operation with the zucchini, and then with the peppers.
  • Brown the onions. When they are translucent, add the tomato paste and the crushed tomatoes to the pan. Cook over medium heat for about ten minutes, stirring regularly.
  • Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of sugar.
  • Add the vegetables.
  • Add the aromatics: 1 bay leaf, thyme, rosemary, oregano and if you wish cumin.
  • Simmer the ratatouille over low heat, uncovered, for 1 hour.
  • Taste to check the seasoning before serving

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