France's Favorite Vegetable Dish Simplified

Contributing writer By Rebeca Plantier
Contributing writer
Rebeca Plantier is a journalist and author of French School Lunch, a two-year research project on France’s public school lunch program promoting health and wellbeing in children. She writes about about healthy living, travel, parenting and the French lifestyle—and her work has appeared on various sites, such as Huffington Post, Business Insider, Salon, EatLocalGrown, travel site Matador Network and many others.

My Aunt Mounette is from Hyeres, the oldest (and extremely charming) resort town on the French Riviera. She's the type of woman who can work out for two hours, organize her house, babysit grandkids and have lunch prepared all before noon.

A true inspiration in every sense of the word, she also has some easy and great recipes up her sleeve, ready to use at a moment’s notice.

One of my all-time favorites is her simplified version of ratatouille, which she makes in the oven. Super delicious and nutritious at the same time, this is a must-have vegetable recipe.

Serve alongside rice, quinoa or bulgur, or in individual heated ramekins to accompany any meat dish. Mounette’s recipe is off the top of her head, so vegetable measurements are “as you like”. So use what you have and increase those you like the most — whatever works for you!

This isn't a last-minute vegetable dish. It’s simple to make, but takes time in the oven. On the other hand, it's perfect for making ahead. You can make it earlier in the day, keep it at room temperature once it's fully cooked, and reheat slightly before serving.

Simplified Ratatouille

Ingredients

  • Eggplant
  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes
  • White onion
  • Red and yellow peppers
  • One bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Cut up all vegetables into cubes and place in a mixing bowl. Add salt, pepper, olive oil and chopped parsley. Mix well together to coat the vegetables.

2. Place vegetables into a baking dish and bake in oven for approximately 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, stir the vegetables, turning them over.

3. Lower oven to 320 F and bake for 1 hour more.

Variations

  • If you like cheese, sprinkle grated cheese on top about 20-30 minutes before it is finished cooking.
  • If you're a meat eater, add some chopped up bacon to the dish.

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