18 August 2007

Easy Skillet Ratatouille

There comes a weekend night in late summer when the chill sets in and we close the windows for the first time since early June. We don forgotten sweaters or sweatshirts and throw a quilt on the bed. My husband tunes in the Green Bay Packers game and I settle down with the September issue of Vogue or a good mystery.

It's ratatouille time. Saturday night, I made a skillet version of my favorite dish. In the oven was a whole chicken stuffed with garlic, onion, rosemary and thyme. Rice from the Camargue was baking in a sauce of tomatoes and herbes de Provence. So I sliced my vegetables and sauteed them in a skillet.

Ratatouille in the Skillet


  • 1 small eggplant
  • dash sea salt with herbes de Provence
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small zuchinni
  • 1 small summer squash
  • 2-3 small peppers, red or green
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small can diced tomatoes


Wash and slice, but do not peel the eggplant. Strive for uniform size pieces. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with sea salt and herbes. Cover and set aside for an hour or so until water drains from the eggplant.

Slice the zuchinni, squash and peppers, too. Sauté each, one at a time, in olive oil. Sauté only until eacg vegetable begins to turn golden brown. Set aside. Slice onions and mince garlic and do the same with these. Set aside. Finally, drain the eggplant and add it to the pan. Return onion, garlic, zuchinni, squash and peppers to the pan. Add diced tomatoes and allow the mixture to simmer on low heat for 15-20 minutes. Season with additional herbes de Provence, sea salt and pepper, if you like.

My husband noticed that the tomatoes took on new flavors from the vegetables.

The entire meal, which was preceded by a simple salad of cherry tomatoes and lettuce, tasted of autumn on the rise and hinted of the Midi.

I often think of ratatouille as a transitional dish, one that is best savored as summer wanes and fall begins to show its burnished colors. It was the perfect meal on a dark and chilly August night.

9 comments:

fiona said...

Your early Fall meal looks simply delicious.

Its nice to close the windows and put slightly warmer clothing on after a hot summer. The nicest part of it for me is having some extra covering in bed at night.

Mimi said...

I like that feeling, too, Fiona. "Good sleeping weather" is what we call it this time of year.

Lydia said...

We've had "good sleeping weather" for the past two days, so I feel exactly the same way about food -- time for anything with a roast chicken. Your skillet ratatouille is lovely.

Mimi said...

Lydia, the season has really turned here. Of course, we always have a minor heat wave around the time school starts, but that does not change appetittes.

katiez said...

I love switching to 'fall' cooking! And the quilt back on the bed..my favorite time of year. I really miss the changing colors, though. We don't have maples, and all the other pretty trees.
On the other hand, we still have green in January...

Betty C. said...

I usually love the "fall in the air" feeling but have had so little summer whether either in France or in Olympia that I feel kind of sad about it!

Mimi said...

I wonder why so many of us love this time of year so much, Katie. I revel in spring, yet this is the time I love the most. I guess I do not like the extremes of winter and summer.

BettyC, I know that feeling. We've had so many mild and cool summers that when this time of year comes, there is really no change, nothing to say goodbye to. It detracts from the power of shorter days and longer nights.

Judy said...

Your dinner sounds fantastic!! I am so ready for cool nights and comfort foot. It is 95 this weekend here. The evenings have been clouding over with a few sprinkles which is nice and it does cool off so I can open my windows. I love having to pull up the quilt folded at the foot of my bed towards morning and snuggling up for a few extra minutes..maybe next month.

Mimi said...

We've had our share of hot ones this summer and I am sure there will be a few more. Right now, we are enjoying this fall teaser, Judy!