This recipe is courtesy of my great grandfather’s Parisian “cuisiniere” [chef, if you will]. Her name was Lili and my mother has the fondest memories of her cooking. This is a perfect recipe for summertime when tomatoes, zucchinis & eggplants are at their finest. Make a big pot and freeze it or have it in the morning with scrambled eggs, it’s absolutely heavenly. —Culinista Annouchka
kilo zucchinis (3 very large or 6 medium)
gr. red bell peppers (green, yellow or orange are great as well)
large white onions
garlic gloves, minced
kilo tomatoes (about 6 medium tomatoes)
very good olive oil
small bunch of basil, roughly chopped
Fresh ground salt & pepper (we used smoked salt, which was delicious)
Cut all the vegetables into chunks – not too small though – and set aside.
Place the butter & olive oil in a very large dutch oven pan on medium heat and add the onions, stirring often. When they are fragrant 2 to 3 minutes add the minced garlic. Keep stirring until the onions are golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Add the zucchinis, eggplant & the bell peppers and cook until browned, 7 to 8 minutes, stirring often. Then add the tomatoes & basil, generously salt & pepper and cook for 1 1/2 hour on very low heat. You may want to cover your pan half way through.
Once the ratatouille is finished, the consistency will thicken. Enjoy warm or at room temperature, as a main or side dish.