Oven Roasted Ratatouille

Enjoy the flavors of summer eggplant and squash in this easy oven-roasted ratatouille.

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I’m a lifelong francophile. I’ve loved French culture since I was about five years old. I studied French literature in college, just because really, since there are few “practical” reasons for majoring in French literature. I had the amazing opportunity — that I didn’t fully appreciate at the time — to live in France during my junior year in college. My husband and I honeymooned in Paris and the Mediterranean coast. This fall, after twenty years, we are finally going back — with all six kids in tow.

Now that the tickets are purchased, most of the passports have arrived, and the trip feels more “real”, I’ve been working to get my family prepped for a different way of eating. Since this is going to be very much the budget tour of France, we’ll probably be eating a lot of apples and baguettes. But we’ll be visiting friends for a time and hope to be able to splurge on a restaurant meal every few days.

Once a week I take one child out to lunch to practice ordering, restaurant etiquette, and trying new foods while out. Pizza night has been displaced by French Fridays.

Every Friday evening, I make a meal that is more like what we’d have if we were in France. The first week I made four courses: a carrot salad; pork chops and roasted potatoes; salad and cheese; ice cream. Another week I did a simple aperitif of olives and drinks, followed by Ratatouille and Grilled Chicken, salad and cheese, and then finished with homemade chocolate mousse. (Oh la la! on that last one.) I’ve gone even simpler with the courses; I did a cassoulet for the main and simply fruit and yogurt for dessert.

 

Oven Roasted Ratatouille - Enjoy the flavors of summer eggplant and squash in this easy oven-roasted ratatouille.I’m trying to mix things up a bit, but this week FishChick7 demanded a repeat of the Ratatouille. She could eat it all the live long day as long as I leave out the mushrooms. I typically make the version in my freezer cookbook, but this time I wanted things to be more hands-free. I roasted it in the oven which was fabulous. Leftovers were excellent the next day.

Ratatouille is not a pretty dish, but it is delicious! I’ve served it simply over rice, alongside grilled chicken and fish, and also with fried eggs, which is the way my French mom says to do it. Chez Bonne Femme has some great tips for how to serve Ratatouille, so be sure to check those out.

It’s best made with in-season eggplant, zucchini, and peppers. I confess that I always use canned tomatoes so that I can use the garden-ripe ones for eating fresh. Go with what you got. I prefer it with mushrooms, but since my daughter does not I left them out of this recipe.

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Comments

  1. How exciting that your trip is getting closer! We have been to France twice. Once when our children were two and seven, the second time a few years ago with no kids. The kid trip, of course, was way different. Lots of picnics. We’d load the string bag on the back of the little one’s umbrella stroller with lunch foods-just enough so she wouldn’t tip over-then stop at a grassy area when ever we were hungry. Much better than hauling them into restaurants several times a day. Breakfast was almost always included in our accomodations-coffee, baguettes, croissants, yogurt and sometimes, if we were lucky, hard boiled eggs. For dinners we found some great crepe places. I hadn’t had savory crepes before that trip. It was pretty easy to find which restaurants were kid accepting and which weren’t-important with a two year old in tow. My very peak eating experience in France was a cassoulet. It was in a small village where we ordered completely in French-an interesting challenge for us. The wine that went with it was excellent too. I’d love to see your recipe! Travel is such an enriching experience for children. You will have such fun!

  2. Christine A says:

    Yum! Sounds easy and delicious! I think I will try this in the upcoming weeks!

  3. that sounds very exciting! I can’t wait to hear about the trip! From what I have read, French children have a much better attitude towards food than their American counterparts, due to the culture of introducing foods to them at a very early age. I read the book ‘French kids eat everything’ – wow, they really have the right attitude towards food in France! Sets the kids up with lifelong healthy attitudes towards food.

  4. Oh zippity-do-da, that stuff was fantastic!!! I had all of the ingredients on hand and needed to use some up before the A.H. basket arrives tomorrow. I’ve stashed away all of the leftovers for moi. I will be having it with eggs for breakfast and maybe some with my kielbasa at lunch. I’m on a type of low carb diet. What a great and healthy way to use up veggies. (I even had fresh tomatoes on hand I needed to use too!)

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