Chef Richard’s Ratatouille
by: Chef Richard Wilson
ra·ta·touille/ˌratəˈto͞o-ē/- Noun: A vegetable dish consisting of onions, zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers, fried and stewed in oil and sometimes served cold.
My Ratatouille recipe I came up with for my wife on our honeymoon. I made it with chicken and served it over Jasmati rice. It’s delicious and I can’t stress the grapeseed oil enough! It’s polyunsaturated, has a high smoke point, and no flavor that it imparts into what you’re cooking! Its the only oil I use to cook with, I save olive oil for roasting and for finishing. I use veggie or peanut for frying (when that rare occurrence arises)
1/4 Cup Grapeseed Oil
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1/2 Tbsp Red Pepper Flakes (if you want a little spice)
1 Onion, Medium Diced (1/2″x1/2″)
1 Eggplant, Medium Dice (1/2″x1/2″x1/2″)
3 Zucchini, cut into quarters and cubed
3 Yellow Squash, quartered and cubed
2 Red Peppers, Medium Dice (1/2″x1/2″)
6 Basil Leaves, Chiffinade
1 Tsp Fresh Chopped Oregano
1/2 Tsp Fresh Thyme
1 Can Pomi Chopped Tomatoes
1/2 Cup Liquid (Water, Chicken Stock, or Red Wine)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Optional, 6 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
Sauté garlic and pepper flakes, on medium heat in a sauce pot or large saute pan, in oil until garlic is lightly browned, add onions and cook until transparent. Add eggplant. Cook about 2 minutes, stirring often. Add zucchini, squash, and peppers, cook till slightly soft (5 mins) Add tomatoes and liquid, let vegetables stew at least another 15-20 minutes.
The longer you cook it, the more the flavors will meld together. Add herbs, cook 5 more minutes. Add more liquid, if necessary, water is fine, or you can use chicken stock or even a nice red wine to finish (I recommend a bold pinot nior). Add salt and pepper to taste and serve! You can serve this as a soup or reduce it more and serve it over rice or by its self!
Serve with a nice glass of red wine, if you enjoy wine with dinner.
If you wish, you can add a little protein to the dish, I found chicken thighs add a nice flavor to this meal. If adding chicken, just lightly seer it in the pot first and then remove it, still raw in the center. Then add it again later after the zucchini, squash, and peppers.