I get to know this dish from the movie Ratatouille (2007), a computer-animated film by Pixar 4 years ago. However, this attempt was not inspired by the movie, but Bobby Flay. He cooked ratatouille using grill, we cooked this the traditional way. I have craving for shepherd’s pie for so long. But having all meat in our diet is a concern. This dish was a perfect complement to shepherd’s pie that tends to be quite oily and meaty.
I searched epicurious for a traditional recipe for ratatouille, get this one with the most rated and votes. It turned out to be easy and simple. Serve it with pasta will be just fine too.
Yield: Serves 4
1 onion, sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 tablespoons olive oil
a 3/4-pound eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
1 small zucchini, scrubbed, quartered lengthwise, and cut into thin slices
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3/4 pound small ripe tomatoes, chopped coarse (about 1 1/4 cups)
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
In a large skillet cook the onion and the garlic in 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil and heat it over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking. Add the eggplant and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes, or until the eggplant is softened. Stir in the zucchini and the bell pepper and cook the mixture over the moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 12 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the oregano, the thyme, the coriander, the fennel seeds, the salt, and pepper to taste and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the basil and combine the mixture well. The ratatouille may be made 1 day in advance, kept covered and chilled, and reheated before serving.
Do not add too much ground coriander and fennel seeds, otherwise it will taste like Indian vegetable curry!