This is a beautiful Mediterranean blend from France where baby zucchini, olive oil, eggplant, and garlic are utilized abundantly. The secret to tasty ratatouille is in the stewing of the vegetables. I like to make this and serve it over Texmati, or should I say basmati rice as a central dish.
For curious ones, in the year 2000, India and the United States fought a legal dispute over a patent of Basmati rice. Indian farmers developed basmati rice for hundreds of years, but a Texan company obtained a patent for a cross-breed with American long-grain rice. Later, after disputes, debates, and diplomats’ involvement, Basmati became Texmati in the United States and remained Basmati everywhere else. I will call it Basmati since I work for Indians, and I am not a fan of Texas.
Back to our Ratatouille Recipe, it is also a tasty side dish and can be added to baked potatoes or mixed in with pasta as a pasta salad. Ratatouille is also a classic complement to any sauteed or grilled piece of meat.
Let’s look at the ingredients first.
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
- 2 small yellow onions, sliced
- 1.5 cups of bell pepper (red, green or mix of the two)
- 2 cups of sliced mushrooms
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium zucchini, approximately 1 ½ cups, cubed
- 1 small eggplant, about 2 cups, cubed
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups, uncooked basmati rice
- grated mozzarella cheese
- Cook rice according to the rice cooker directions.
- In a large skillet with a lid, start sauteing the onion and garlic on medium-high heat until onions begin to soften. It takes around two to three minutes.
- Now, reduce heat to medium. Add mushrooms, pepper, and zucchini and maintain sauteing another five minutes until zucchini and mushrooms begin releasing their water.
- Stir in eggplant, decrease the heat to medium-low and cover for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the lid and add salt to taste.
- Continue sauteing over medium-low for another fifteen to eighteen minutes until vegetables are soft. Add olive oil if veggies are sticking.
- Serve on top of rice or baked potatoes, add a half cup grated mozzarella cheese to enhance the taste.
Leftover ideas: Add leftovers on top for a plain pizza crust to get a makeshift Mediterranean pizza.