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  • Writer's pictureBobbi Jo Lathan


Updated: Dec 29, 2023


Sometimes even a Southern gal like myself likes a little “old school” French classic. Now, I’m not talkin’ about the good-lookin’ Frenchman I once dated, or my favorite French actor, Gerard Depardieu. I’m talkin’ about a REAL French classic, Ratatouille.

I broke up with that handsome Frenchman quite a while back and I don’t speak a lot of French, but I do know the name comes from the French word, “touiller,” which means to “toss together.” Apparently, this dish was invented by peasant folk in France and served in the summer when they had all them beautiful summer vegetables. So, you know one thing’s for sure, if it was good enough for the poor-folk, it’s definitely good enough for me! But, shoot! These days, since we have them beautiful vegetables in our grocery stores and markets all year round, there’s no reason why you can’t make this easy, fresh, and tasty side dish anytime of year.

As a matter of fact, when my favorite, but vegetarian cousin, Eula Janeen comes to visit, I serve her this very recipe on top of a bed of steamed white rice, along with some crusty French bread and a nice Merlot. However, on my plate you’ll find that Ratatouille served up with some wonderful, fried-up venison or Andouille sausage. But, no matter how you serve it, this Ratatouille is some good stuff! So, Bone-app-uh-teet, ya’ll!!


Recipe by: Bobbi Jo Lathan

Recipe type: Side Dish

Cuisine: French

Serves: 4


20 mins


25 mins


45 mins


⅓ cup olive oil (you may need a little more as you go along)

1 medium-sized yellow onion (diced)

4 cloves fresh garlic (chopped)

2 zucchini squash ( with skin on but ends cut off and cut into ¾ inch dice)

1 large eggplant ( with skin on and also cut into ¾ dice)

1 yellow squash (cut into ¾ inch dice)

1 medium-sized tomatoes (peeled and cut into ¾ inch dice)

1 green or yellow bell pepper (diced)

1 tablespoon of fresh basil (chopped)

1 tablespoon fresh parsley (chopped)

½ teaspoon each of Salt and freshly ground black pepper (I use Kosher salt)


  1. Pour ¼ cup of olive oil into a large, hot sauté pan or cast-iron skillet.

  2. Add the onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes until the onions are caramelized.

  3. Add the zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant and bell pepper and cook for another 5 minutes. (You may need to add a little more oil to the pan as the eggplant with soak it up pretty quickly.)

  4. Add the chopped tomatoes, fresh basil, thyme, parsley and salt and pepper and cook for another 5 minutes.

  5. Stir the mixture every so often to blend well. And serve it up!


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