There are a million different ways to make ratatouille and you can make it a thousand different ways depending on the time of year and what you have on hand. It can also be eaten as a side dish or a main dish. It’s so flavorful and satisfying that if you decide to make a meal of it, you just need a bit of bread and wine, and you’re set.
Red bell pepper
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
Start by chopping all of your vegetables into a large dice. Try to make it somewhat uniform, but this is a rustic dish, so there’s no need to be too precise.
Next, start sautéing your vegetables one by one (no need to cook the tomatoes or mushrooms before hand). You can order them by how long each vegetable takes to cook, but if you cook them separately, then transfer them to a common dish, it’s not necessary to worry too much about that. Just get the cooking started, and caramelize each vegetable. The remainder of the cooking will take place once all of the vegetables are combined, so just par cook these at this point.
As you finish sautéing each vegetable, transfer them to a baking dish. When all of the vegetables are cooked and added to the baking dish, deglaze the sautée pan with balsamic vinegar and white wine. Let it reduce to almost nothing, then add this to your vegetables, along with salt and pepper, and stir everything together.
Bake the vegetables for 20-30 minutes (or longer depending on how many vegetables you have in your baking dish) at 350 degrees until done. They should also still have some body and texture to them.
When the vegetables are cooked, you can drain excess liquid into a sautée pan and reduce it on high heat. The sugars from the tomatoes and balsamic vinegar will also help give it a nice consistency when it reduces that will coat the vegetables really nicely.
When everything is ready, mix in a lot of chopped basil, along with parmesan cheese. Then check for seasoning, toss in a few croutons (optional), and drizzle with good olive oil.