Recipes with Dainess Chef School : Ratatouille


Ratatouille is a comforting vegetable stew created by Provençal peasants, typically consisting of eggplant, zucchini, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, sweet onions, tomatoes and garlic; served hot, cold or at room temperature. Its origin is from Nice, France. It was initially a dish made by poor farmers, or at best a meal only vegetarians could enjoy as it was prepared during the summer when fresh vegetables were available.

There are few different takes on how it got its name; there are also several different versions of the dish. The great thing about Ratatouille is its versatility – it can be cooked in different ways using varying ingredients. You can have fun with it if you wish, layering the vegetables for a really aesthetically pleasing meal. It can be served as an appetiser, a side dish, or the main dish of the meal. As the primary dish, it is often served with rice or couscous.

The most important aspect of Ratatouille, regardless of the changes you make, is the quality of vegetables used – buy the freshest vegetables possible. This is one of those dishes that is perfect in its simplicity, without a lot of ‘stuff’ added to it. Buy the best vegetables and the rest should fall into place.


1 (6 ounce) canned tomato paste

½ Onion, chopped

¼ cup minced garlic

1 tablespoon olive oil

¾ cup water

Salt and Dainess black pepper to taste

1 small eggplant, trimmed and very thinly sliced

1 zucchini, trimmed and very thinly sliced

1 yellow squash, trimmed and very thinly sliced

1 red bell pepper, cored and very thinly sliced

1 yellow bell pepper, cored and very thinly sliced

3 tablespoons olive oil to taste

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, to taste

3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese

½ onion, chopped


  • Step 1

Preheat the oven to 375 oF (190 oC).

  • Step 2

Spread tomato paste into the bottom of a 10×10-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with onion and garlic and stir in 1 tablespoon olive oil and water until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and black pepper.

  • Step 3

Arrange alternating slices of eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, red bell pepper, and yellow bell pepper – starting at the outer edge of the dish and working concentrically toward the centre. Overlap the slices a little to display the colours. Drizzle the vegetables with 3 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with thyme leaves. Cover vegetables with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit inside.

  • Step 4

Bake in the preheated oven until vegetables are roasted and tender, about 45 minutes. Serve with dollops of mascarpone cheese.

Leave a Reply