|Place of origin||France|
|Region or state||Provence|
|Main ingredient(s)||Vegetables, (tomatoes, onions, zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers), garlic, marjoram, basil|
||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (May 2012)|
The word ratatouille comes from Occitan ratatolha and the recipe comes from Occitan cuisine. The French touiller means to toss food. Ratatouille originated in the area around present day Occitan Provença (French: Provence) and Niça (French: Nice); the Catalan "samfaina" and the Majorcan "tombet" are versions of the same dish. The southern Italian ciambotta is a related spring vegetable dish.
The secret of a good ratatouille is to cook the vegetables separately so each will taste truly of itself.—Joël Robuchon, The Complete Robuchon
Ratatouille is usually served as a side dish, but also may be served as a meal on its own (accompanied by pasta, rice or bread). Tomatoes are a key ingredient, with garlic, onions, courgette (zucchini), aubergine (eggplant), bell peppers, marjoram and basil, or bay leaf and thyme, or a mix of green herbs like herbes de Provence. There is much debate on how to make a traditional ratatouille. One method is to simply sauté all of the vegetables together. Some cooks, including Julia Child, insist on a layering approach, where the aubergine and the courgette are sautéed separately, while the tomatoes, onion, garlic and bell peppers are made into a sauce. The ratatouille is then layered in a casserole – aubergine, courgette, tomato/pepper mixture – then baked in an oven. A third method, favored by Joël Robuchon, is similar to the previous; however, the ingredients are not baked in an oven but rather recombined in a large pot and simmered.
When ratatouille is used as a filling for savory crêpes or to fill an omelette, the pieces are sometimes cut smaller than in the illustration. Also, unnecessary moisture is reduced by straining the liquid with a colander into a bowl, reducing it in a hot pan, then adding one or two tablespoons of reduced liquid back into the vegetables.
Filled aubergine dishes exist in Ligurian (Rattatuia), Bulgarian, Dalmatian/Croatian, Greek, Albanian, Maltese, Romanian, Sicilian, Turkish, Persian, and Venetian cuisine, but may include salted sardines or anchovies. Similar dishes exists in other cuisines: Pisto manchego (Spanish), pinakbet (Filipino), and şakşuka (Turkish).
American chef Thomas Keller popularized a contemporary variation, confit byaldi, for the 2007 animated film Ratatouille. Ratatouille is a dish extremely popular with dieters. This is because not only is it low in fat and calories, but high in nutrients.
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|Look up ratatouille in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Ratatouille. Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989)
- Jill Dupleix, Timesonline
- Ratatouille recipe (profusely illustrated, in French)
- Another French recipe
- Robuchon, Joël (2008). The Complete Robuchon. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. p. 597. ISBN 978-0-307-26719-1.
- Tom Norrington-Davies (July 1, 2006). "Let me make you swoon". London: the Telegraph. Retrieved 2007-08-05.
- Stacy Finz (June 28, 2007). "Bay Area flavors food tale: For its new film 'Ratatouille,' Pixar explored our obsession with cuisine". San Francisco Chronicle.
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