Traditional ratatouille is a thick, hearty and colorful stew-like mass that sticks to your ribs and warms you throughout. Hard to believe it's nothing but vegetables and a bit of cheese. It certainly is peasant food, but peasant food fit for a king.
This is my recipe for ratatouille and we like it very much at room temperature with a baguette or served with a simple sautéed chicken breast. See the Ingredients Tips below for some pointers on picking the best vegetables for this dish.
Zucchini can be bitter and there's no real way to know ahead of time if it will be or not, but, in general, the smaller and shinier zucchini tend to be OK as well as commercially grown zucchini that have been grown under controlled conditions. Eggplant can also be bitter and smaller, shinier fruits are the best bet here, too. If the eggplant is still bitter, cube it and toss into a colander. Salt it liberally and let sit for an hour or two to drain. Press it well with a towel to remove excess liquid before cooking.
In a large skillet cook onion and garlic in olive oil until onion is translucent.
Add remaining ingredients except cheese and stir well.
Cook on low, stirring once in awhile, about 30 minutes until tender and liquid has evaporated.
Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Serve warm or cold or anywhere in between.