Specialty of Provence and the old County of Nice.
The word “ratatouille” is derived from Occitan ‘ratatolha’ which means stirring.
It consists of cooked vegetables (cut into slices or quarters): eggplant, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, as well as onions, garlic and olive oil. It can also be flavored with olives, thyme, rosemary, basil, and herbs from Provence. Proponents of the Provençal tradition advocate to return or even fry the vegetables one by one, then pass the pepper on the flame to rid the skin and give it a taste of toasted.
Ratatouille, eaten cold or hot, is usually served as a side dish for meat or fish, but can also be served as a main course with rice, potato, or bread.
Originally, the word ratatouille first designated a stew, a coarse mixture. It is very likely that this name was to designate something other than this delicious dish simmered because vegetables, entering the ratatouille recipe, were introduced in Provence in the mid-eighteenth century and it is only during the Twentieth century, that the word ratatouille took on the meaning we know today.