There is something humbling and beautiful about the word ratatouille. Perhaps because it was a meal common among peasants and maybe because the charming Disney movie hit the heart in all the right places. Words cannot describe how much I love that Pixar movie, there is so much passion for food. Paired with the weather, a warm savoury dish couldn’t be more suitable for this time of year. The colourful leaves are falling and the air crisp.
Ratatouille is known as a traditional Provencal stew that incorporates fresh seasonal summer vegetables, namely zucchinis, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers and eggplants. However, there are many different versions of this dish today. It is forgiving and can be personalized so easily to what you have in the kitchen. That is ,if you do not intend to cook the authentic ratatouille recipe. The most common vegetables I use to make ratatouille are listed in the recipe below and it is by no means traditional, rather, a personal take. I prefer to throw all the chopped vegetables into the rice cooker, walk away and have a flavourful cozy meal ready in less than an hour. There are other alternatives to a rice cooker such simmering the ingredients in a pot, or maybe even a slow cooker.
Rice Cooker Ratatouille
3 cups carrots , chopped ( 6 to 7 whole carrots)
4 cups mini potatoes, diced
4 cups zucchinis, chopped (4 medium zucchinis)
1/2 yellow cooking onion
2 tomatoes, diced
3 garlice cloves, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp dried basil
black pepper to taste (about 1 tsp)
salt to taste (about 1/4 tsp tsp)
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1. Once all the vegetables are chopped, place them into a pot that can fit into a rice cooker. Add the garlic, olive oil, herbs and seasoning and give it a good mix.
2. Pour in vegetable broth to cover half of the vegetables.
3. Close the lid and turn on the rice cooker. Remove the fresh herbs once the rice cooker has finished. Serve hot and enjoy!
As ratatouille is often eaten as a side dish, it pairs well with rice, couscous, quinoa and a slice of bread. But the options are unlimited. It is equally as good on its own and over a green salad.