Ratatouille

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This article is about the dish. For the Pixar film, see Ratatouille (film). For other uses, see Ratatouille (disambiguation).
Ratatouille niçoise
Ratatouille.jpg
Alternative names Ratatouille
Type Stew
Place of origin France
Region or state Provence
Main ingredients Vegetables, (tomatoes, onions, zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers), garlic, marjoram, basil
Variations Confit byaldi
Cookbook: Ratatouille niçoise  Media: Ratatouille niçoise
Ratatouille niçoise

Ratatouille (/ˌrætəˈt/ rat-ə-TOO-ee; French: [ʁatatuj]) is a traditional French Provençal stewed vegetable dish, originating in Nice. Though referred to commonly as ratatouille niçoise,[1] ratatouille is popular among the entire Mediterranean coast as an easy summer dish.[2]

It is usually served as a side dish with dinner, but is also used in breakfast and lunch settings.[citation needed] Ratatouille is sometimes eaten as a meal of its own accompanied by pasta, rice or bread.[citation needed] Tomatoes lay a foundation for sautéed garlic, onions, zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, marjoram, fennel and basil, or bay leaf and thyme, or a mix of green herbs like herbes de Provence. It is typically prepared as a stew of squash, with each vegetable being sautéed separately before being layered into a baking dish and baked.[citation needed]

The word ratatouille comes from Occitan ratatolha and the recipe comes from Occitan cuisine.[citation needed] Related dishes exist in many Mediterranean cuisines. Though the name ratatouille for the dish does not occur in print until 1930, the word has been in use since the late 18th century to refer to a coarse stew. It is derived from “ratouiller and tatouiller, expressive forms of the French verb, touiller, meaning “to stir up.[3]

Preparation[edit]

The secret of a good ratatouille is to cook the vegetables separately so each will taste truly of itself.

— Joël Robuchon, The Complete Robuchon

Tomatoes are a key ingredient, with garlic, onions, zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, marjoram, fennel 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 simply to sauté all of the vegetables together. Some cook insist on a layering approach, where the eggplant and the zucchini are sautéed separately, while the tomatoes, onion, garlic and bell peppers are made into a sauce. The ratatouille is then layered in a casserole – eggplant, zucchini, tomato/pepper mixture – then baked in an oven.[4][5] A third method, the ingredients are not baked in an oven but rather recombined in a large pot and simmered.[6]

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. For a firmer consistency, excess moisture is reduced by straining the liquid and reducing it in a hot pan, then adding one or two tablespoons back into the vegetables.

Related dishes[edit]

Similar dishes exist in other cuisines: pisto (Castilian-Manchego, Spain), samfaina Catalan, tombet Majorcan,[7] caponata (Sicily, Italy), briám and tourloú (Greek), şakşuka and türlü (Turkish), lecsó (Hungarian).

Ciambotta is a related southern Italian spring vegetable dish. The word briam(i) is related to biryani, though the dishes themselves are quite different.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ratatouille. Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989)
  2. ^ Scotto, E., and Marianne Comolli. "Vegetables: A Garden of Eden." France, the Beautiful Cookbook: Authentic Recipes from the Regions of France. San Francisco: Collins, 1989. 195. Print."
  3. ^ https://www.lacademie.com/ratatouille-nicoise/
  4. ^ Ratatouille recipe (profusely illustrated, in French)
  5. ^ Another French recipe
  6. ^ Robuchon, Joël (2008). The Complete Robuchon. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. p. 597. ISBN 978-0-307-26719-1. 
  7. ^ Jill Dupleix, Timesonline
  8. ^ Aglaia Kremezi, Anissa Helou, "What's in the Name of a Dish? The Words Mean what the People of the Mediterranean Want them to Mean", in Richard Hosking, ed., Food and Language, Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 2009, Prospect Books, 2010