Place of origin
Region or state
|Vegetables, (tomatoes, onions, zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers), garlic, marjoram, basil|
|Cookbook:Ratatouille niçoise Ratatouille niçoise|
||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (May 2012)|
The word ratatouille comes from Occitan ratatolha and the recipe comes from Occitan cuisine. Ratatouille originated in the area around present day Occitan Provença (French: Provence) and Niça (French: Nice); the Catalan samfaina and the Majorcan tombet are versions of the same dish. The southern Italian ciambotta is a related spring vegetable dish.
The secret of a good ratatouille is to cook the vegetables separately so each will taste truly of itself.—Joël Robuchon, The Complete Robuchon
Ratatouille is usually served as a side dish, but may also be served as a meal on its own (accompanied by pasta, rice or bread). Tomatoes are a key ingredient, with garlic, onions, courgette (zucchini), aubergine (eggplant), bell peppers, marjoram and basil, or bay leaf and thyme, or a mix of green herbs like herbes de Provence. There is much debate on how to make a traditional ratatouille. One method is to simply sauté all of the vegetables together. Some cooks, including Julia Child, insist on a layering approach, where the aubergine and the courgette are sautéed separately, while the tomatoes, onion, garlic and bell peppers are made into a sauce. The ratatouille is then layered in a casserole – aubergine, courgette, tomato/pepper mixture – then baked in an oven. A third method, favored by Joël Robuchon, is similar to the previous; however, the ingredients are not baked in an oven but rather recombined in a large pot and simmered. When ratatouille is used as a filling for savory crêpes or to fill an omelette, the pieces are sometimes cut smaller than in the illustration. Also, unnecessary moisture is reduced by straining the liquid with a colander into a bowl, reducing it in a hot pan, then adding one or two tablespoons of reduced liquid back into the vegetables.
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- Ratatouille. Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989)
- Jill Dupleix, Timesonline
- Ratatouille recipe (profusely illustrated, in French)
- Another French recipe
- Robuchon, Joël (2008). The Complete Robuchon. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. p. 597. ISBN 978-0-307-26719-1.
- Stacy Finz (June 28, 2007). "Bay Area flavors food tale: For its new film 'Ratatouille,' Pixar explored our obsession with cuisine". San Francisco Chronicle.