09/06/2012 10:00 EDT | Updated 11/06/2012 05:12 EST

French ratatouille a versatile and tasty stew using seasonal veggies

Ratatouille is a traditional French stewed vegetable dish, typically prepared in the summer, in the area of Nice, France.

The original recipe used only zucchini, tomatoes, green and red sweet peppers, onions and garlic.

The dish today adds eggplant to the mixture. Most of all, it is perfect for early autumn enjoyment as the local vegetables are in abundance.

Ratatouille works as a side dish or as a meal with rice, pasta or polenta.


30 ml (2 tbsp) extra-virgin olive oil

1 red onion, cut into thin wedges

5 cloves garlic, minced

15 ml (1 tbsp) each dried basil and oregano

1 large sweet green pepper, cut into chunks

2 zucchini, cut into chunks

1 eggplant (about 750 g/1 1/2 lb), cut into chunks

4 field tomatoes, chopped

1 can (796 ml/28 oz) whole tomatoes

45 ml (3 tbsp) tomato paste

5 ml (1 tsp) granulated sugar

Salt and pepper, to taste

50 ml (1/4 cup) minced fresh parsley

175 ml (3/4 cup) crumbled feta cheese

In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, basil and oregano; cook until slightly softened and aromatic, about 4 minutes.

Add green pepper, zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes. Stir in canned tomatoes, breaking up with a spoon. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.

Stir in tomato paste, sugar, salt and pepper; cook for 7 minutes. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days; reheat.) Stir in parsley. Sprinkle feta on top of each serving.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Nutrition information per serving (when recipe serves 10): 123 calories; 5 g protein; 5 g fat; 16 g carbohydrate.

Source: Foodland Ontario.