This healthy ratatouille recipe is just in time for the upcoming holiday season. Its vibrant colors will enhance the dinner table, and tastes fresh and delicious. But what we love most about ratatouille is that it is packed with vegetables, making it the perfect dish to sneak more fiber and nutrients into your diet. Let’s learn a bit about this amazing side dish.
What is Ratatouille?
Ratatouille is an aromatic vegetable stew originating in Provence, France. The most common ingredients in this dish include tomato, bell pepper, onion, garlic, zucchini, eggplant, and some fresh herbs.
There are many variations of the ratatouille recipes each with different cooking methods. For today’s recipe, we took our inspiration from Disney’s version of the dish. We’ll go into detail later, but for now, let’s see what dish we can pair with this stew.
What to Serve with Ratatouille
Ratatouille can be either a main or side dish. However, since the dish is low in calories and packed with vegetables, it doesn’t fill you up. For that reason, we’ve decided to categorize it as a side dish to pair with other main dishes for a wholesome meal. Here are a few main dish nominees:
- Pasta: since ratatouille has a tomato-based sauce, we reckon it should go well with pasta that also have tomato sauces. For instance, classic spaghetti with Bolognese sauce, or spicy arrabiata sauce.
- Beef or pork: a simple steak with some baked potatoes and a pile of stewed veggies would make a hearty, nutritious meal for all. Meatballs, beef stew, or baked pork are also good options to consider.
- Chicken: whether it is pan-seared, baked, or cooked in wine, chicken is the most versatile dish that can pair with so many side dishes, including ratatouille.
- Fish: we recommend picking your favorite whitefish, season it lightly and bake it to serve with ratatouille. The sweet, juicy fish goes amazingly well with the saucy, slightly tangy vegetable stew.
Remember that no matter which type of protein you choose, keep it simple so that the flavor of the meat or fish can stand out on its own, and at the same time, harmonize it with the ratatouille.
And if you’re looking for another light and fresh side dish to add to your mains, check out our roasted vegetables recipe and many other salad recipes. Maybe you’ll find something that suits you.
But for now, let’s get back to cooking.
- 13.4 oz red bell pepper
- 14.1 oz roma tomatoes 6 medium, divided
- 2.1 oz yellow onion 1/2 small, roughly chopped
- 6 tsp garlic minced
- 4 tsp fresh thyme
- 3 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
- 1/2 cup unsalted tomato juice
- 1/2 cup unsalted vegetable stock
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil divided
- 15.6 oz zucchini squash 2 medium yellow & 2 medium green squash
- 6 oz Japanese eggplant 1 medium
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs to garnish, optional
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- Wash all of your vegetables thoroughly and wipe them dry with a kitchen towel.
- Roast bell peppers for 5 minutes over medium high heat on the stove using a pair of heatproof, metal tongs. Rotate frequently so that the peppers are charred on all sides. Transfer to a bowl and cover with tin foil. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Once cooled, peel off the dark skin and take out the core and seeds. Rinse under running water. Pat dry.
- In a blender, add the roasted bell peppers, 2 tomatoes, onions, garlic, thyme, parsley, tomato juice, vegetable stock, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Blend until smooth to make the sauce and set aside.
- Thinly slice the remaining 4 tomatoes, eggplant, and all of the zucchini squash. Each slice should be about 1/8-inch thick.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- In a large, shallow baking pan, pour about 3/4 of the sauce on the bottom of the pan and spread evenly. Arrange the vegetable slices into the pan by overlapping one on top of another, alternating the colors. It’s best to have one pattern and stick to it; we went with: tomato, green zucchini, yellow zucchini, eggplant, then back tomato.
- Ladle the leftover sauce and drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil on top. Garnish with fresh sprigs of thyme and bake for 1 hour.
- To serve, arrange a stack of vegetables on a plate and spoon the sauce over.
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