The ratatouille is a widely renowned vegetable stew from Nice, in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. This mouth-watering, colourful dish has become a mainstay of both family gatherings and gastronomic restaurants in the south of France.
Traditionally known as farmers' dish in the 18th century, the ratatouille is mainly appreciated for being a tasty combination of "summer vegetables" that you may easily find in typical markets of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. The name refers to the unformal French words rata - meaning "rough stew" in French Army's slang - and touiller - which means to stir up/toss food.
The original recipe of this Mediterranean vegetable blend is so easy - this mainly explains ratatouille's worldwide popularity! Just throw all the fresh eggplants, tomatoes, zucchinis and sweet peppers in a big casserole with Provencal herbs, garlic and olive oil and let simmer. The result is a real pleasure for both the eyes and palate!
The typical ratatouille is usually cooked in a large pressure cooker (without the pressure). Once stewed, the Provencal summer vegetables can be sauteed in olive oil and then served over rice or potatoes, with a crusty gourmet French bread and a glass of red wine. Such tasty recipe from the south of France is also widely served as an accompaniement for meats and fishes in the French restaurants.
Top Tip! "Too much" doesn't apply to ratatouille! South of France locals like relishing it as an appetizer or a cold hors-d'oeuvre with toasts of Tapenade (pureed olives) and Caviar d'Aubergine (pureed eggplants).
Don't forget that the lively Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region has much more to offer than vegetable casseroles and fish dishes. To dicover other Mediterranean treasures, you can visit regions-of-france.com's complete regional guide.