Five Little Chefs – Ratatouille


   This Ratatouille recipe was chosen because Little Chef C was watching an episode of Restaurant Impossible where this was made. Our only other experience with Ratatouille is the movie by Disney.

The ingredients were gathered, except for the herbes de Provence we didn’t find. Luckily, it was an optional ingredient. The eggplant was going to be interesting, we have never had this in our kitchen before!

  Next, everything was chopped. This time I let Little Chef C try using a knife. I cut each of them down the middle so they would lay flat for her to cut herself. This worked fairly well for each one. This is her best cutting so far!

  Now it was time to cook. In a saucepan olive oil was heated first, then garlic added. Luckily the Little Chefs do not need to cut garlic. The little ingredients are so difficult for them to cut, dice or mince. We bought fresh minced garlic we keep in the fridge. Maybe this counts as cheating, but it is the safer route for us! The peppers and onions were added until Little Chef C thought they were soft.

  The zucchini, tomatoes and eggplant went into the pan next.  I had to explain when you add ingredients to the pan they need to go in at about the same time. Putting them in one by one doesn’t work out so well. Dumping them in is the best method! This cooked for 5 minutes, before the parsley, oregano, thyme and basil were added along with some salt and pepper. I lowered the heat because Little Chef C’s arms aren’t quite long enough to reach the dial. She let it cook for 10 minutes before it was finished.
  The Ratatouille was served with Coriander and Mustard Seed Crusted Salmon.
  Amazingly the eggplant was tried without convincing and enjoyed. Some pieces needed additional cutting as they weren’t quite bite sized pieces. Little Chef C said she liked the taste of it but loved cutting the zucchini and tomatoes the best!
   For my review, I didn’t enjoy it as much as the Little Chefs. The texture of the eggplant was not to my liking. The skin was very tough. Perhaps we didn’t prepare it properly. I needed to look that up beforehand since it was a new ingredient I was unfamiliar with. The ingredients needed to be eaten together, and since the size of the pieces were so large it was difficult if not impossible to do this. Next time perhaps Little Chef C will have had more practice with cutting and be able to make bite sized pieces.


Robert Irvine


  • 4 tablespoons virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
  • 2 bell peppers (green or other color)
  • 1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 4 small zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 4 large red tomatoes, diced
  • 2 small eggplants, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence, optional
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • 10 leaves fresh basil, thinly cut
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


In a 4-quart Dutch oven or saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. First, add the garlic, peppers and onions and cook, stirring often, until the peppers and onions are softened, 6 to 7 minutes. Next, add the zucchini, tomatoes and eggplant; stir until coated with olive oil and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, and then add the parsley, oregano, herbes de Provence if using, thyme and basil. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.

Finish cooking over lower heat for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let rest before serving for 10 minutes, to allow the flavors to incorporate. Use or cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

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