Preparation of ratatouille with tomato, onion, courgette, yellow pepper, pine nuts, oregano, thyme, parsley, black pepper, sage and bay leaf

How To Prepare Ratatouille Using Home Grown Vegetables

Ratatouille recipe: is a dish made up of seasonal fresh vegetables, whatever is ripe and abundant. 

It’s the end of July and the garden in East Sussex is still looking beautiful.  The vegetable garden too, hidden at the end behind the chicken run, is coming into its own.  I’ve just harvested the first courgette, and they will be growing like Triffids from now on, producing almost too many fruits to eat.  I will frequently be including  courgette recipes in my posts, right up until the cool air of autumn at the end of September arrives, and kills off the plants.  I grow our tomatoes in the greenhouse.  These are unusual varieties from Italy, and wouldn’t thrive outside, even in the warm climate of southern England.  The beans are reaching the right length for picking, best when not too long and stringy. The ratatouille recipe doesn’t include the beans; they are lovely and tender if boiled in water for a few minutes and served alongside the ratatouille and the main dish such as fish.


It is popularly believed that the first ratatouille recipe originated from the Province region of France in the eighteenth century.  The verb touiller, in French, means to stir or mix up and rata is a chunky vegetable stew.  Peasant farmers are said to have harvested an abundance of vegetables at the end of the season and invented what we now know as the ratatouille recipe to slowly cook the ripe ingredients to prevent them from spoiling.  Another theory is that it actually came from the Basque Country and Catalonia regions of Spain, later making its way across Europe to southern France.


Tomatoes (various - big, striped and small), beans (yellow, black and green pods), courgette

So, on to the ratatouille recipe:


Tomatoes (3 large and 6 smaller ones (approximately))

Red onion (½)

Yellow pepper (⅓)

Pine nuts (handful)

Herbs (sprinkling) (dried mix of oregano, thyme, parsley, sage and bay leaf)

Black pepper, freshly ground (sprinkling)

Olive oil (generous drizzle)

Basil (handful) (freshly picked)


  • Set oven to a moderate heat, 190⁰C (fan 170⁰C, gas mark 5)
  • Slice the onion, pepper, tomato, courgette
  • Sprinkle with herbs and black pepper
  • Drizzle with olive oil
  • Tear up the basil leaves roughly and sprinkle over vegetables
  • Bake in the oven on the top shelf for 30-45 mins, until onions are soft.
Cooked ratatouille; red, yellow and green vegetables in white flan dish

I serve the ratatouille as a vegetable side dish.  It went very well with freshly picked green beans and cod & parsley fishcakes.





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