This ratatouille is after the French version, but following my own heart and the basket of garden goodies he brought up for me. I no longer resent the garden produce he brings to the table. It actually boosts my creativity. Food just happens when time is right.

There is a problem with traditional French and Greek ratatouille [in Greece it’s called mousaka]. There is way too much eggplant and zucchini in the dish and the eggplants are already mushy and brown before they get into the pot. So if the recipe starts out “Toss with salt, let stand for 30 minutes and drain” forget it. Modern eggplants are no longer bitter so stop ruining them! After all that they are cooked to a soggy mess. “Cook eggplant and zucchini for 15 minutes or until tender is just making mush. My ratatouille, on the other hand, is always perfect, always delicious.

Fresh Bean Ratatouille

3 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
salt to taste
2 cups of two coloured fresh green beans, chopped
3 cups baby Roma tomatoes, in whole
1-1/2 red bell peppers, chopped
1-1/2 tsp sugar
2 large garlic cloves, well pounded
1 skinny egg plant, sliced
1/2 medium sized zucchini, chopped
fresh basil and parsley leaves to taste
1 tsp black peppers, coarsely crushed

  • In a deep skillet sauté the onions on oil until translucent.
  • Add the green beans, tomatoes and bell peppers.
  • Season with salt.
  • Slowly sauté until the tomatoes break down and a nice sauce develops.
  • Stir in the sugar to neutralize the acidity of the tomatoes. The taste should be mild, but not sweet.
  • Stir in the garlic and simmer for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the eggplant, zucchini, fresh basil and parsley leaves and give it a stir.
  • Bring it back to a slow simmer.
  • Season with the black peppers and cover.
  • Remove from heat and put it aside for 20 minutes. Do not lift the lid, the egg plant and the zucchini will soften in the residual heat.
  • Reheat and serve.
  • Never at any time allow the ratatouille to hard boil.

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It began with posting a few recipes on line for my family. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has more than 1000 Hungarian and International recipes. What started out as a private project turned into a well visited blog. The number of visitors long passed the two million mark. I organized my recipes into an on-line cookbook. On top of the page click on the cookbook to access the recipes. I am not profiting from my blog, so my visitors will not be harassed with advertising or flashy gadgets. Feel free to cut and paste my recipes for your own use. Publication is permitted as long as it is in your own words and with your own photographs. However, I would ask you for an acknowledgement and link-back to my blog. Happy cooking!