Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Recipe Favorites and a Great Movie: Ratatouille!

(Updated July 2007)  Last week I went with my two young nephews to see the new movie Ratatouille. Movie critics and food-lovers alike are raving about this movie. It's a delightful film with great animation and really captures how people can be passionate about food. I can tell you from my waitressing experience, it also accurately portrays the restaurant world. A central plot element is how food memories from childhood stay with us all through life, something I realized when I made my ratatouille last summer.

Maybe the movie Ratatouille will get kids to like vegetables again. I know that when we walked out of the theater, my nephew Ethan asked me "What did the rat cook for the bad man?" He was quite impressed when I told him I had a recipe for it on my food blog. (Well, as impressed as a six year old can be with a dish that has squash, zucchini and tomatoes.)

I made my version of Ratatouille Wanna-Be last summer after I spotted an amazing Ratatouille recipe on La Tartine Gourmand. Now that Ratatouille has become trendy, I thought I'd share the recipe again. The wanna-be part of the title refers to the fact that when I made this I had so many zucchini and yellow squash in my garden that I couldn't bring myself to buy eggplant! So this is probably not authentic ratatouille, but it was tasty and a good way to use some of those zucchini from your garden.

Ratatouille Wanna-Be
(6 servings, adapted from a recipe by Bea of La Tartine Gourmande.)

You can see step-by-step-photos of how to make Ratatouille at the original post.

2 zucchini, chopped medium
2 yellow summer squash, chopped medium
1/2 red onion, chopped small
6 large cloves garlic, chopped small
6 red or yellow tomatoes, chopped medium
(I used half red and half yellow, which was pretty)
1 yellow pepper, chopped medium
1 red pepper, chopped medium
3 T chopped fresh parsley
3 T chopped fresh savory
(you could use any fresh herbs that appeal to you)
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 T olive oil, plus more for sauteeing as needed
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (or less)
sea salt to finish

Heat small amount of olive oil in large, heavy pan, add zucchini and yellow squash and saute 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Add a bit more olive oil, then add peppers, onions, and garlic and saute 3-4 minutes. Add tomatoes to pan, gently combine vegetables, and saute 5 minutes more.

Add zucchini and yellow squash back into pan with parlsey, savory, sugar, olive oil, dried oregano, and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and cook uncovered one hour.

After an hour, add chopped fresh basil, season with sea salt and cook 5-10 minutes more. Serve hot or room temperature.

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South Beach Suggestions:
This is a perfect main course or side dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet. I think this would taste fantastic with Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu or Grilled Chicken with Lemon, Capers, and Oregano. For phase two or three, add something like Brown Rice with Cashews and Herbs.

Other Places to Find Ratatouille Recipes:
Dad's Ratatouille and Links to Other Ratatouille Recipes from Simply Recipes
I write about Ratatouille and Spotlight Other Recipes at Blogher
Three great ideas for ratatouille leftovers from Avenue Food
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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

More to Chew On:


  1. It's a great ratatouille even without the eggplant!
    You've got it right on the movie Kalyn, we really enjoyed it even without any young ones with us.

  2. It's good for you, right? It looks like it would be good for me.

  3. I think that is the essence of good French (or any cooking) being creative with what we have...
    And anyone who has ever planted zucchini knows how much there is to use...
    It's looks great.
    Can't wait to see the movie - but it'll be awhile!

  4. Ooooh, I can't wait till this movie comes out here in Australia!! As much as I love where I live, being somewhere where anything gets released later than the rest of the world kinda sucks sometimes!

    That is a gorgeous ratatouille, by the way :) I've been meaning to give this dish a try since seeing Bea's post, but then I promptly 'forgot' about it! After seeing this post, I shall probably have to give this a whirl over the weekend!

  5. I can't wait to see the movie! Thanks for the report and your dish looks yummy!

  6. Ha! I, too, was inspired to make ratatouille this weekend after seeing the movie, which I loved. And as I was Googling recipes, I wondered how many other people were doing the same . . . I ended up doing a roasted version based on a recipe from Chocolate and Zucchini. Here's to ratatouille all around!

  7. Yep, good movie, though too long, I thought. I'm inspired to make the "haute" version of the dish that Remy does at the end, for the food critic. I actually found the recipe, so look for my attempt soon. Of course, all ratatouille is good ratatouille. Yours looks scrumptious.

  8. Loved the movie, and I actually do remember many (many) years ago, when my Grandma first made ratatouille and conned me into trying it (I loved it). Not the biggest eggplant fan so I will have to try this.

  9. I'll have to wait till the DVD comes out as my toddlers are not movie-trained yet. :) But I don't have to wait long to try your delicious looking rataouille recipe though (thank goodness!)

  10. I have a sensitivity to eggplant so I don't eat it. Your recipe sounds wonderful and is one I can enjoy. I can't wait to see the movie.

  11. Kalyn, the movie had the same effect on me, too; I made ratatouille the next day. i kind of wished I had Ego to taste it :)

  12. Thanks everyone for the nice thoughts about my "wanna-be" ratatouille. It's great fun seeing all the ratatouille recipes popping up. I think some type of oven-roasted version will be on the menu for me this year (later in the summer when I have more zucchini!)

    I hope everyone gets to see this great movie. I just might see it again soon (without the kids!)

  13. Loved the movie! What a great way to introduce kids to vegetables....although my daughter has yet to request if for dinner. Sort of related, I found a really cute cookbook for kids inspired by the movie. Here is the link:


    Have fun!

    Terri Holley

  14. I thought the real ratatouille didn't have eggplant in it anyway. I double-checked, by searching ratatouille in the wikapedia. And, I am right. So, your recipe IS AUTHENTIC. Congratulations on the accident.

  15. great animation movie, more advice contained. Good.. good..

  16. its yummy..... so colorful.. better to use color of red

  17. that is definitely what I was searching for, You have saved me alot of time


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