Ratatouille (pronounced rat-uh-too-ee) is a perfect summertime side dish. French in origin, ratatouille consists of seasonal vegetables including zucchini, bell peppers, and tomatoes, simmered with olive oil and herbs. One of my favorite things about ratatouille is that it is just as delicious when served cold as when served warm. I make up a large pot of ratatouille and then eat it as an easy, cool side dish throughout the rest of the week.
Traditionally, ratatouille contains eggplant, but since no one in my family likes eggplant, I make my ratatouille without it.
2 medium white onions, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 bell peppers, chopped (red, orange, and/or yellow peppers work well in this dish)
1 medium zucchini, chopped
2 yellow summer squash, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp celtic sea salt (or less if your tomatoes are salted)
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
one 18-ounce jar of Jovial diced tomatoes (or substitute fresh tomatoes)
1 Tb fresh oregano, minced (or substitute 1 tsp dried oregano)
2 Tb red wine vinegar (or substitute 1 Tb balsamic vinegar and 1 Tb apple cider vinegar)
Meanwhile, chop the bell peppers, zucchini, and squash. Keep the peppers separated from the squash since they will be added to the pot at different times.
Stir the bell peppers into the pot and cook another 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, mince the garlic.
Add the zucchini and summer squash to the pot, and sprinkle with the other 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Stir it all together and cook about 3 more minutes.
Meanwhile, mince the oregano.
Stir the garlic into the pot and cook about 2 minutes, just until the garlic is nicely fragrant.
Add the tomatoes, vinegar, and oregano to the pot. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low, to maintain a simmer.
Simmer, stirring occasionally for 15-20 minutes. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper if necessary.
Turn off heat and serve! Fried potatoes make a nice pairing with ratatouille. Leftover ratatouille is fantastic when served cold.
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