Ratatouille is a traditional French dish that has the perfect mix of vegetables, herbs, and spices.
This dish has been popularized by the Pixar film Ratatouille.
The ingredients are mixed in a pot with olive oil and garlic before being served up on top of spaghetti or rice as the main course.
But what does ratatouille taste like? To find out more about this recipe for easy weeknight dinners at home, keep reading.
What is Ratatouille?
Ratatouille is a dish of French, Provençal origin.
The name comes from the word ratte, which means “rattail,” or tail, and touiller, meaning to toss in this context.
Although it’s considered one of Spain’s national dishes, ratatouille was created by French cooks from Provence and Nice during their occupation with Italian recipes learned from local chefs.
In France, ratatouille is traditionally served as a hot side dish in the summertime with bread or boiled potatoes and green salad.
Like other dishes simmered for extended periods (such as the French cassoulet), it’s made from pantry staples: onions, garlic, tomatoes, fresh herbs like thyme and basil leaves, olive oil.
Plus eggplant and zucchini to make up for leaving out one-half of its traditional ingredients – namely peppers and sausages.
Ratatouille can also be eaten cold during the warmer months.
It can be served as a main dish or a side dish.
It is often accompanied by cheese, either grated on top of the hot ratatouille before serving or added to it during cooking.
Why is Ratatouille Famous?
Ratatouille is a famous Disney movie about an adventurous rat named Remy who falls in love with food.
The dish and the film are named after a French Provençal stew, often served with “ratatouille,” or vegetables and eggplant.
The film was nominated for an Academy Award in 2007 for Best Animated Feature Film of the Year.
It also won Pixar its first Oscar ever since it had been started.
“Remy’s goal: to become a great chef like his idol, Auguste Gusteau (Brad Garrett).
He despairs when he accidentally destroys all of Chef Gustéau’s recipes – but his vegetable soup proves so popular that people want more.
Remy secretly uses his family of rats to gather the ingredients and cook for him to satisfy demand.
He becomes a success in Paris but eventually must confront food critic Anton Ego (Peter O’Toole), who discovered Remy’s secret.
Great cooking is the only way for Remy to prove his worth as a chef and as a rat.
Ever since the film was released in 2007, the animated movie has been making noise.
It won an Emy Award in 2007 for Best Animated Feature Film of the Year. It also won Pixar its first Oscar ever since it had been started.
The dish also became popular in the real world.
The plate is now served at Disney World, Disneyland Paris, and Tokyo Disneyland.
It has also been a menu item for multiple restaurants across America, including Denny’s and Le Pain Quotidien.
Is Ratatouille Good for You?
Whether or not ratatouille is good for you, the dish certainly sounds delicious.
This simple recipe from The Kitchn features eggplant and zucchini as its main ingredients, with garlic, onions, tomatoes, basil, and thyme rounding out the list of add-ons that make it so flavorful.
The vegetables used in this dish are all good for you.
Eggplants are rich in nutrients and antioxidants like vitamins A and E and a decent amount of B-complex vitamins that aid metabolism.
Zucchini is low in calories, has no saturated fat or cholesterol content.
Still, it does have plenty of fiber (making it better than potatoes), so if you’re trying to watch your weight, zucchini can be helpful there too.
Tomatoes offer up high amounts of vitamin C and lycopene, which help prevent cancer.
At the same time, thyme contains antioxidant properties, along with calcium, iron, and omega-three fatty acids, among other things.
So, ratatouille is good for you because it’s healthy and full of vitamins a vegetable-based diet should have, but if you’re not keen on all the veggies in there, substitute what works best for your taste buds.
What Does Ratatouille Smell Like?
To answer your query, the dish is an aromatic mixture of vegetables.
Ratatouille smells like onions, garlic, tomatoes, and herbs that have been cooked in olive oil until they are soft or browned slightly in addition to spices such as thyme or parsley.
The dish has a sweet taste from the onion and tomato juices mixed with some peppery flavor due to black peppercorns.
You can also detect the aromas of bay leaves when cooking ratatouille all by itself, which will bring an earthy scent of the bay to your space.
Does Ratatouille Have Meat?
Ratatouille is a vegetarian dish, and it does not contain meat.
Ratatouille is a French dish that consists of stewed vegetables, typically including tomatoes, onions, garlic, and bell peppers.
There’s no mention of meat anywhere in this vegetarian dish, which clarifies that there isn’t any animal product included within its ingredients list either.
What Does Ratatouille Taste Like?
Ratatouille is a French dish made up primarily of vegetables. The literal translation for ratatouille means “to stir” or “toss.”
Ratatouilles are usually served as an appetizer with bread, but they can also be eaten independently.
Ratatouille has a distinctly unique taste and is difficult to describe.
It’s made up of an acidic mix that includes eggplant, zucchini, and tomato sauce, which are cooked until they’re rich in flavor.
The dish is usually served warm, which allows the flavors to blend and become more intense.
Although ratatouille has a different taste than most other dishes, it still manages to be very popular worldwide due to its unique flavor.
It’s full of rich vegetables in vitamins A and C, such as broccoli or spinach, for example.
This makes it an excellent option for those who want to focus on eating healthy foods while also enjoying new tastes.
What Does Ratatouille Go With?
For a traditional French meal, ratatouille goes well with rice, couscous, or potatoes.
Ratatouille is often used as a side dish with meat dishes like roast lamb and beef stew.
Ratatouille can be served on its own with bread to scoop up the vegetables for an appetizer.
Ratatouille also does well when turned into soups, sauces, and dips such as gazpacho, tapenade, or baba ghanoush.
How to Make Ratatouille?
If you haven’t got an opportunity to make ratatouille, you should try it for a change.
It’s an easy and quite delicious dish made of eggplant, zucchini, and tomatoes stewed with herbs in olive oil.
Here’s how to make ratatouille:
- Preheat your oven to 190˚C (375˚F). Slice the eggplant, tomatoes, squash, and zucchini into ¹⁄₁₆-inch rounds. Tip: Do not worry about being perfect with your slicing; uneven pieces are just fine.
- In a 12-inch oven-safe pan on medium-high heat, add olive oil followed by onions garlic peppers. Stir for 10 minutes or until tender, then season with salt pepper and stir in tomato sauce over low heat. Add basil and continue stirring before spooning onto a clean surface to create a smooth layer.
- Arrange the sliced vegetables in alternating patterns on top of a sauce from the outer edge to the middle—season with salt and pepper. For herb seasoning, mix basil, garlic, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper olive oil in a small bowl.
- Spoon over vegetables before covering the pan with foil and baking for 40 minutes uncovered (for 20 more minutes) until softened.
- Ratatouille can be enjoyed as a main dish or side. It is good the next day served hot with foil, reheated in an oven at 350˚F for about 15 minutes, or warmed up in microwaves to the desired temperature.
Ratatouille is a French dish that can be made with many different ingredients and flavors.
In a recent NPR article, food journalist John T Edge discussed how “Ratatouille is not about tasting or eating; it’s about cooking.”
Ratatouille takes on many forms and flavors based on local ingredients and regional traditions – so perhaps you should try making your version.
Try our recipe for traditional ratatouille above – remember not to overcook.