It’s ratatouille season! Ratatouille is a classic end-of-summer French stew that’s fun to say (rat-tuh-TOO-ee) and fun to make. It’s packed with fresh produce: tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash, and bell pepper.
This summer, we sampled authentic French ratatouille in Provence. I liked some ratatouille more than others, so I vowed to come up with my own favorite ratatouille recipe when I came home. Today is the day! Ratatouille combines a large volume of late-summer vegetables that have different cook times. If you tried to throw them all into a pot at once, none of the veggies would have a chance to caramelize, the eggplant would fall apart by the time the zucchini is tender, and your ratatouille would probably never meet its full potential.
- 2 pounds ripe red tomatoes (6 medium or 4 large)
- 1 medium eggplant (1 pound), diced into ½-inch cubes
- 1 large red, orange, or yellow bell pepper (about 8 ounces), cut into ¾-inch squares
- 1 medium-to-large zucchini (about 8 ounces), diced into ½-inch cubes
- 1 large yellow squash (about 8 ounces), diced into ½-inch cubes
- 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt, divided, more to taste
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, more or less to taste
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste