rat and polenta

The word ratatouille comes from the French word Touiller which means to toss food. Sounds like fun already, doesn’t it! The prepared vegetables can be served as a side dish or as a meal on its own. Apparently, there is much debate on how to make ratatouille. Some cooks prefer baking it, while others prefer more of a sauteed approach. My recipe is a more traditional style whereas the ingredients are tossed into a large pot one at a time until desired consistency is reached. It’s Anton Ego’s happy childhood memory of the ratatouille his mama used to make. This peasant food is low in calories and very high in nutrients. Serve with polenta.

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6-8
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 onion, diced small
  • 8 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1 eggplant, diced, skin on
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 zucchini squash, diced
  • 1 yellow squash, diced
  • 2 teaspoons Herbs de Provence
  • 6 ounces brown mushrooms, quartered
  • ¼ cup kalamata olives
  • 2 cups peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Set a large dutch oven over medium heat and add the ¼ cup olive oil. Add the onion and garlic to the pan when oil is shimmering. Cook until carmelized, about 6 minutes.
  2. Add the eggplant next until partially cooked, about 5 minutes. Add the green and red peppers and cook for 3 minutes, adding olive oil if eggplant becomes dry. Add the zucchini and olives next and cook for an additional 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in the Herbs de Provence and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Lastly, add the tomatoes, salt and pepper and cook for an additional 4 minutes. Toss well and serve with Polenta.
If you can’t find Herbs de Provence at your local grocery store, you can make your own by combining 1 tablespoon of each, dried rosemary, dried thyme, dried marjoram, dried fennel seed, and dried lavender.


I paired the Ratatouille with a Rancho Sisquoc Winery, Cellar Select Meritage. Composed of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, petite verdot and cab franc. This juicy blend explodes with wild berries, worn leather, and a hint of fresh herbs. A robust finish makes it perfect for this outrageously colourful and tasty dish.

Movie Night suggestion: Ratatouille. “Dinner is Served.

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