Le blog de la Bergerie                         Sharing the faith . . . in English . . . et en français!
Ratatouille was the very first dish I learned, when I was 20 years old,
in New York, under the guidance of my uncle, le Chef Pierre.
It's a very simple tomato-based vegetable dish and he told me right up front that the secret is to have all ingredients chopped and ready to go and to put them in the skillet one batch at a time, in a very specific order, and not to forget the tomato paste, at the end. That's it! You can definitively vary the vegetables a little bit here and there, as long as you have the onion/zukini/eggplant/tomato base, the rest is a bit flexible.
But here are my main recommendations for the vegetables and herbs: buy local and buy organic!
Ratatouille is a tribute to Provence, the blue skies, the warm and golden sun, the fresh smell of aromatic herbs and the art of living in one of the most beautiful place on earth. Life is a gift and the world is drenched in grace. The least we can do is show some gratitude in our demeanor and share some ratatouille and a glass of red wine with friends...
Use Fresh Herbs of Provence as much as possible, for that matter, I sometimes use both (fresh and dry)! The main standard Herbs of Provence are:
They are very potent, when fresh, so don't put too much, and you certainly don't have to use all of them, 2 or 3 will be enough.