Ratatouille Recipe from our Provence Cooking Vacation
'Tis the season for ratatouille! This dish, packed as it is with Summer vegetables, is perfect for this time of year. It also has its roots in Provence, which makes sense, considering the region is a land of sunshine. This particular recipe hails from the chef of one of our newest Provence cooking vacations, A Culinary Quest in Carpentras.
Definitely note in the recipe how the vegetables are cooked separately. This helps ensure they're all cooked just right with just the amount of carmelization, making this dish extra delicious. For more tips, come join our chef in the kitchen, where she happily shares her secrets as well as why fresh, seasonal ingredients make a difference in the finished product.
- 3 aubergines (eggplants)
- 3 courgettes (zucchini)
- 1 onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 tomatoes very ripe
- 1 Tbs of natural grey salt
- 1 Tbs of Provencal herbs
- 1 Tbs of ground black pepper
- 1/2 Cup of olive oil
1. Rinse the aubergines, remove the green part, cut them vertically into slices of one cm (1/2‘’) and then in squares of 1cm (1/2‘’). Put the aubergine cubes in a colander, add a little salt, and let the liquid drain. If you use small organic aubergines there is less water.
2. Put olive oil in a pan, enough to cover the bottom, heat gently, no more than 200°F (95°C).
3. Rinse the zucchini and cut into small cubes as you did with the aubergine. Put the zucchini cubes in the pan and saute gently until they turn light brown. Increase the heat if necessary but not more than 250°F (120°C).
4. When zucchini are browned put them in a casserole, add olive oil in the pan and cook the aubergines in the same way.
5. Meanwhile, peel and cut the tomatoes, the onion and the garlic into small cubes.
6. When the aubergines turn light brown, put them in the casserole with the zucchini.
7. Add a little olive oil to the pan and cook the onion. When the onion becomes translucent, add the garlic, decrease the temperature to 175°F (80°C), and add the cubed tomatoes. Turn gently in order to cook off the juices from the pan and then add into the casserole dish.
8. Mix all the vegetables in the casserole dish, and then season with salt, pepper, and herbs, make a kind of nest in there put a piece of roasted meat.
9. Put a lid on the casserole, and put it in the oven at 200°F (95°C) for 45 minutes.
10. When the meat is tender, decrease temperature to 140°F (60°C) until you are ready serve.
11. Serve in the casserole dish. Enjoy!
Our trip Culinary Quest in Carpentras includes four hands-on cooking courses, as well as visits to local food producers, providing guests with an in-depth experience into Provencal gastronomy.
By Liz Hall
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