French cooking made easy with ratatouille


Ratatouille is a traditional vegetable dish from the Provence region of France. Chefs debate the proper way to sauté, simmer and layer the dish, but they tend to agree on the primary ingredients: tomatoes, garlic, bell peppers, zucchini and eggplant.

Most of the traditional approaches to cooking ratatouille require more time than college students have to spare. Typical recipes can take anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours. The following is a simplified version, adapted for students’ time restraints.

This recipe makes a light dinner for two (or for one, with leftovers) and can also serve four to six as a side.



1 medium-sized eggplant
2 medium-sized zucchini
1 bell pepper
1 14.5-ounce can of diced tomatoes (use one with added basil, garlic and oregano for fuller flavor)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
A handful of feta cheese (optional)


Chop the eggplant into small cubes and slice the zucchini thinly. Cut the bell pepper into bite-sized pieces, making sure to remove all the seeds.

Place the vegetables in a saucepan with the olive oil and sauté over medium-high heat until the edges of the eggplant are lightly browned.

Add the can of tomatoes and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

Sprinkle with feta cheese and serve.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, March 25 print edition. Chandler West is dining editor. Email her at [email protected]



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