This quick and easy vegan ratatouille is a colourful, naturally gluten-free one-pot meal that's ready to eat in about 30 minutes. It's a really good way to use up surplus or past their best vegetables and makes a lovely dinner or side that reheats and freezes perfectly.
1teaspoondried rosemary or 1 frehs sprig, or 1 teaspoon herbs de Provence
1large bay leaf
Place a large pan that holds at least 5 to 6 quarts/litres, over medium heat and add the olive oil. Feel free to add more olive oil if you like ;O) (If you are wanting to keep the recipe oil-free use a little water to saute instead).
When hot add the onions and cook for 7 to 8 minutes until translucent.
Add the garlic and continue cooking for another 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add all of the other ingredients, give it a good stir and allow to come to a steady simmer.
Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the tomatoes have mostly broken down.
Remove the bay leaf before serving.
Want to use canned tomatoes?Fresh tomatoes are recommended but if you want to use canned, use the same amount but be sure to use good quality canned whole tomatoes and chop them up prior to adding. San Marzano canned tomatoes are the best ones if you can get them. Don't use diced tomatoes because they contain calcium chloride which stops them from breaking down.How to bakeAs well as cooking on the stovetop, you can bake this ratatouille recipe in the oven. Saute the onion in a large oven-proof pan on the stovetop until translucent, then add the garlic and cook for a further minute or two. Then turn off the heat andadd everything else. Cover with a lid or some foil and bake at 400°F for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.Storage, freezing and reheating tipsTo store - This vegan ratatouille keeps really well in the fridge for 4 to 5 days and the flavours just keep getting better and better.To freeze - Cool completely, place in a freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge before reheating.To reheat - Warm gently in a pan on the stove, stirring frequently until piping hot. It also reheats well in a microwave.Meal prepBecause it stores and reheats so well this recipe is perfect for meal prep. Portion it up into individual containers either on its own or with a grain of choice and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days or the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight and reheat when needed.Success tipsTo get the very best results take note of these tips:
In season (and local too if possible) vegetables will have the best flavour, which in turn will make your ratatouille taste even more special.
Select eggplants that are firm but not too firm. They should have a bit of give when you press them and they should feel heavy for their size. If they are super light it probably means they are old and have dried out inside.
If your tomatoes aren't at their best you can boost their flavour by adding a tablespoon of white or cane sugar with the other ingredients, or even during cooking.
There is no need to add any stock or water to this recipe. The vegetables release their juices as they cook and become beautifully tender, juicy and flavourful in no time at all.
Don't cook the ratatouille longer than necessary or the vegetables will lose their texture.
Season generously. Salt, in particular, is so important for bringing out flavour in a simple dish like this.