No matter your thoughts on a Pixar movie starring a rat chef named Remy, this ratatouille recipe should be part of your summer cooking rotation. It’s simple to make, packed with flavor, and just as good eaten cold the next day as it is served hot.
Traditional ratatouille from Provence is made with zucchini, eggplant, sweet peppers, and tomatoes. Sometimes referred to as a vegetable stew, it’s supremely adaptable. Out of zucchini? Yellow squash is fine. White or yellow onion? Either will do. Looking for a bit of heat? Add red pepper flakes. There are also Italian-leaning riffs made with pesto, balsamic vinegar, or pasta as a vegetarian main course.
If it’s your first time making the Provençal classic, catch Andy Baraghani’s short video, or dive right in—there’s nothing complicated here. Start by salting the eggplant and zucchini to release some of their liquid and then brown them in batches on a stovetop over medium-high heat. Next, sauté the fresh thyme, peppers, and onions. Finally, put everything together, including the cherry tomatoes, and pop it in the oven.
When it’s ready, finish the ratatouille with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and fresh basil or another fresh herb you like. Serve it as a side dish to grilled steak at a cookout, for breakfast with a jammy egg, or on good crusty bread for a snack. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator—they will hold for a few days.