Alice Waters' Ratatouille

By • August 24, 2011 59 Comments

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Author Notes: A genius recipe from Alice Waters' 2007 cookbook The Art of Simple Food: ratatouille that fusses only where it needs to fuss (over the eggplant), and adds a few smart, modern details -- red chile flakes, a basil bouquet -- that improve on a well-worn classic. Note: All vegetables conveniently work out to about a pound.Genius Recipes

Serves 6 to 8

  • 1 medium or 2 small eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more to taste
  • 2 medium onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 4 to 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch of basil, tied in a bouquet with kitchen twine + 6 basil leaves, chopped
  • pinch of dried chile flakes
  • 2 sweet peppers, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 medium summer squash, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 ripe medium tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • Salt to taste
  1. Toss the eggplant cubes with a teaspoon or so of salt. Set the cubes in a colander to drain for about 20 minutes.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot. Pat the eggplant dry, add to the pan, and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden. Add a bit more oil if the eggplant absorbs all the oil and sticks to the bottom of the pan. Remove the eggplant when done and set aside.
  3. In the same pot, pour in 2 more tablespoons olive oil. Add onions and cook for about 7 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, basil bouquet, dried chile flakes, and a bit more salt.
  4. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, then stir in peppers. Cook for a few more minutes, then stir in summer squash. Cook for a few more minutes, then stir in tomatoes.
  5. Cook for 10 minutes longer, then stir in eggplant and cook for 10 to 15 minutes more, until all the vegetables are soft. Remove the bouquet of basil, pressing on it to extract all its flavors, and adjust the seasoning with salt.
  6. Stir in the chopped basil leaves and more extra virgin olive oil, to taste. Serve warm or cold.
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Comments (59) Questions (1)


4 days ago Jen

What kind of peppers should I use? I can't stand bell peppers.. what are sweet peppers?


4 days ago Judith

I have SO many tomatoes! I'm wondering if this will freeze well so we can enjoy the harvest in the depth of winter too. Can anyone tell me?


3 days ago FM

Yes, it does freeze fine!


11 days ago Live Peachy

This looks just lovely. I love the variety of vegetables that is in this dish, and the colors are just marvelous. Although, I can't help but think of the movie Ratatouille anytime I see a recipe or hear it mentioned :-). I may have to give this a try sometime soon.


16 days ago Matt Libling

looks lovely - I haven't had summer squash since I left Australia. I make a version of "ratatouille" except without the eggplant (aubergine) and it's delicious. Really fresh way to use up vegetables and it's super fast. I find if yemulsify some good olive oil into it at the end it really brightens it up - here's the recipe,


26 days ago Laura

I made this last night and served with mozzarella cheese and farro. It was delicious!


about 1 month ago Jennifer

I made this again last night. So simple and so good. I might try adding herbs de Provence or bay leaf next time!


about 1 month ago S. Greco

How much is 1/2 bunch of basil?


about 1 month ago Jennifer

I'd say about a cup... But add less if you don't want too much basil!


3 months ago vera

Again, super delicious!


5 months ago Peggio

This recipe is THE best ... especially when one is craving Spring after a way too L O N G Winter.


6 months ago Änneken

This recipe should be cooked by anyone who does not believe that veggies are full of flavor. Simply outstanding!


7 months ago coolingwinds

I wanted to make a hearty veggie stew, so decided to cook my old friend, again. This time I decided to be creative and made an adjustment. I added an Anaheim chili to the sweet pepper portion, and fresh green onions to the brown onions, and Oh...My... GOSH! This recipe is so versatile. I love it!


7 months ago Dee Greeley

Delicious! Very clean, simple flavors and especially good with the grilled vegetables. Thanks for the great idea.


8 months ago Tonya Mb

This is crazy good. I've made it a few times and tossed in whatever I had leftover from the last surge from the garden. It's delicious with parmesan cheese on top of a thick slice of fresh bread.


9 months ago Robin

How many servings does this recipe make? Thanks!


9 months ago Jennifer

A lot, I had plenty for at least 6 people as a main meal. More if it is being served as a side.


9 months ago Robin

thank you--perfect!


9 months ago Jennifer

Just made this, it came out GREAT. I added a bay leaf and some oregano for extra spice.


10 months ago Jon Gordon

I grilled the veggies first then chopped them and it came out amazing! So, everyone said


10 months ago Caroline Cooks

Great recipe! I actually enjoy chopping vegetables, so I'm very happy.


11 months ago BakerMary

Ok, so I should have figured you meant a BIG pot...


11 months ago Horto

lazy method

i throw everything in the huge roasting pan for turkey and roast…walk the dog!!!


11 months ago Jesse Mojica

Sitting here eating this, one of my favorite recipes, and in my absent mindedness forgot the garlic. It is still delicious - an absolute summer harvest must. Thanks :)