Mediterranean Summer Vegetable Ratatouille

summer vegetables in saute pan

Hipokrat / iStockphoto

Total Time: 35 min
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Servings: 8 (1/2 cup each)

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

102 calories
7g fat
8g carbs
2g protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 (1/2 cup each)
Amount per serving  
Calories 102
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 83mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 5g  
Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 2g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 35mg 3%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 335mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

This Mediterranean-inspired ratatouille tastes like the sun has been captured on your plate. While it shares similar characteristics to the classic French dish for which it's named, it has a slightly different texture and flavor.

Loaded with garden-fresh summer veggies like zucchini, eggplant, and lycopene-rich tomatoes, this crowd-pleasing plant-based dish is a complete meal on its own. Research shows that incorporating more plant-based meals into your diet can help boost your metabolism, lower cholesterol, reduce your risk of chronic disease, and promote healthy weight management.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 lb eggplant (any variety), chopped into cubes
  • 1 large green or red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 lb zucchini, chopped or sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed, grated, or minced
  • 3/4 lb tomatoes (fresh or canned and drained)
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup dry white wine (or substitute vegetable or chicken broth)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional: 1 or 2 drops hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped basil (or 1 tbsp dried)

Preparation

  1. Heat the oil in the pan with the onion. When the onion is well-sizzling, add the eggplant and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt, then add peppers. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes before adding the zucchini and then cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.

  2. Push the vegetables out to the edges of the pan and cook the garlic in the center for 30 to 60 seconds until fragrant (you may need to add a bit more oil).

  3. Dump the tomatoes into the pan and stir to release their juices and prevent everything from sticking. Add the wine or broth and dried basil if you're using it. Cook until tomatoes are fairly well broken down. The eggplant should be pretty mushy.

  4. Add the black pepper and hot sauce, if you're using it. (Use just a drop of hot sauce; you just want it to "perk up" the flavors, not add spiciness.) Taste and adjust seasonings.

  5. Mix in the fresh basil, remove from heat, and serve immediately.

Variations and Substitutions

Try other types of summer squash such as yellow straightneck squash, pattypan squash, tatuna, tromboncino, or zephyr. Add more color to the dish by using a variety of bell peppers such as yellow, orange, and red. For a boost of protein, you could also add some lean ground beef, chicken sausage, or a plant-based meat alternative such as tofu or seitan to keep it vegetarian.

Cooking and Serving Tips

  • If the tomato and wine are too acidic, or the flavors don't seem to be blending nicely, add a very small amount of sweetener like honey or agave—no more than 1 teaspoon. You'll be amazed how this can change the whole dish.
  • Depending on the heat of the pan and the juiciness of the vegetables, they may begin to stick. If this happens, add a splash of the wine, broth, or water to loosen it up.
  • How long you cook the ratatouille after you add more liquid is really up to you. You could try to cook it down to concentrate the flavors and make it a lot less chunky. If you stop at this point, though, you should have about 4 cups of vegetables, making 8 servings.
  • This dish is also great served cold as a salad the next day or reheated for an omelet filling.

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Article Sources
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  1. Tuso PJ, Ismail MH, Ha BP, Bartolotto C. Nutritional update for physicians: Plant-based dietsPerm J. 2013;17(2):61-66. doi:10.7812/TPP/12-085