Party report and Ratatouille

We had a very nice time at the Valentine’s themed party we attended Saturday evening. We got to know some couples from the community we hadn’t met before and had a good time of conversation, playing foosball, a gift exchange, and eating appetizers.

For my contribution to the refreshments, I finally settled on bringing a layered dip. I got the basic idea for the dip from the site, modifying their recipe for 10-Minute Appetizer. I used half as much mayonnaise as called for in the cream cheese layer, topped that with prepared pesto, and then topped that with Ratatouille, sprinkled with shredded cheese.

The Ratatouille recipe is from my old Sunset Cook Book of Favorite Recipes. Here it is:


“Even beyond its rich flavor yet relatively low calorie content, Ratatouille has other qualities which account for its popularity: It tastes better made ahead (even a day or more old) and is just as good cold as reheated.”

About ½ cup olive oil

2 large onions, sliced

2 large cloves garlic, minced or mashed

1 medium-sized eggplant, peeled and cut in ½-inch cubes

6 medium-sized zucchini, thickly sliced (I forgot the zucchini, but it was still good)

1 green and 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut in chunks

About 2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon dried basil

4 large tomatoes, cut in chunks (I omitted these also)

Heat ¼ cup of the oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until onions are soft but not browned. Stir in the eggplant, zucchini, peppers, 2 teaspoons salt, and basil; add a little of the oil as needed to keep the vegetables from sticking.

Cover pan and cook over moderate heat for about 30 minutes; stir occasionally, using a large spatula and turning the vegetables to help preserve their shape. If mixture becomes quite soupy, remove cover.

Add the tomatoes to the vegetables and stir to blend. Also add more oil if vegetables are sticking. Cover and cook over moderate heat for 15 minutes; stir occasionally. Again, if mixture becomes soupy, remove cover. Ratatouille should have a little free liquid, but still be of a good spoon-and-serve consistency. Add more salt if required. Serve hot, chilled, at room temperature, or reheated. Garnish with parsley and tomato. Serves 8 to 10.

3 Responses to “Party report and Ratatouille”

  1. Marmee says:

    (eyes rolling back in head) I love ratatoille! I made a fake ratatoille one time and loved it. I didn’t use eggplant, I had a bad experience with eggplant as a child. wink, wink.

  2. Joyce says:

    Hi, Marmee,
    This is the FIRST TIME my children allowed me to cook with eggplant (I made one appetizer tray for them, and one to take with us.). The whole time they were growing up they assured me that they hated eggplant, and now they can’t wait for the next batch of Ratatouille. I may even get really brave and make some Moussaka (although I did throw away my Greek cook book at Rick’s request).

    Thanks for your comment. 🙂

  3. Marmee says:

    Oh, we love Greek food, too! Greek salad is my favorite salad by far. Spanakopita is great, too. And gyros, yum!

    Isn’t eggplant a relative of squash? I love squash. And zucchini. If I remember correctly it has a distintive taste and smell.

    I do eat eggplant parmigiana, but the taste is covered up with deep fried breading and marinara sauce.