Ratatouille-Inspired Summer Veggie Dish

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on July 23, 2012

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Every time we go to the farmer’s market, I always curse myself for not making a list, or at bare minimum, planning a couple recipes to guide my purchases. I always make a list for the grocery store, but for some reason it never occurs to me to make a list for the market. I either leave empty handed or I buy everything in sight – there’s rarely a happy medium.

This weekend though, I seemed to get it just right. We found ourselves at the Burlington Mall farmer’s market and by some miracle, I came prepared with a few recipes in mind – Bread and Butter Pickles, Zucchini Bread, and Homemade Salsa. These are all long-time favourites, but two are new to my own recipe repertoire. In the end, I ended up with a basket of perfectly ripe tomatoes, 3 huge zucchini, raspberries, and pickling cucumbers. Just enough to round out what was already waiting in the fridge back at home!


After spending much of the morning making recipes, a quick and easy meal was in order. I had zucchini and eggplant to use up, so I decided on this Ratatouille-inspired dish. This version below is only traditional in the sense that it includes many main ingredients found in Ratatouille – zucchini, eggplant, onion, garlic, tomatoes, etc – but the rest was interpreted according to my own taste buds. I encourage you to do the same.

Since I was out of tomato after my salsa making adventures, I stirred in some of my favourite marinara sauce at the end of cooking. You can add chopped tomato or marinara or both. It’s really up to you. I also didn’t bother cooking the vegetables separately, like many traditional recipes do.

The only thing I would change next time is to peel the eggplant. My stomach didn’t appreciate having to digest all that eggplant skin! If you have a sensitive stomach like I do, consider this your warning. I served this with brown rice, but you can also try serving it with couscous, quinoa, potatoes, or with a crunchy baguette.

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Ratatouille-Inspired Summer Veggie Dish

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Yield: About 6 cups


  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, peeled & minced
  • 2 cups chopped sweet onion
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped into 1” chunks (~2 cups chopped)
  • 1 large yellow zucchini, chopped into 1” chunks (~2 cups chopped)
  • 1 Italian Eggplant, peeled & chopped into 1” chunks (~1-1.5 cups)
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 3/4-1 cup marinara sauce (or use chopped tomato)
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, to taste
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh basil, finely chopped
  • Herbamare + salt & pepper, to taste


1. In a large cast-iron pot or skillet, heat the oil, garlic, and onion over medium heat for about 5 mins, stirring frequently and reducing heat if necessary.

2. Add the chopped zucchini, eggplant, and red pepper, as they are ready to go in. Season with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. I like giving the veggies a sprinkle of Herbamare to bring out the flavours.

3. Stir in about  3/4-1 cup of your favourite marinara sauce (I used The Linen Collection Marinara from Costco!) along with fresh herbs. Cook until vegetables are tender, but still a bit firm and not overcooked – about 5-7 more minutes.

4. Serve with a crunchy baguette, rice, potatoes, couscous, quinoa, or simply as a side.


When I published my post Friday morning, I had yet to hear the tragic news about the Colorado shooting. My deepest sympathies and thoughts go out to those lost, along with family, friends, and community members. I simply cannot imagine the grief and horror.

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{ 82 comments… read them below or add one }

Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} July 23, 2012 at 7:35 am

Nothing like a big pot of fresh summer veggies! I love all the vibrant colors in this dish.


Jesse (OutToLunchCreations) July 23, 2012 at 7:36 am

I made ratatouille for dinner last night as well! Mine was very similar to yours but I used whole tomatoes and a ton of fresh oregano and basil because I had it on hand. I served mine over vegetable broth cooked quinoa and it was delicious.


Angela July 23, 2012 at 7:42 am

That sounds lovely! I’ll have to try oregano next time too.


LizAshlee July 23, 2012 at 7:38 am

This looks great..I haven’t actually made ratatouille before but I have some similar dishes…this is definitely one I am saving…I love all the colors! So funny, I make a list for the grocery store but not the farmer’s market either…perhaps I should try too! Thanks for sharing..have a great day!


Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table July 23, 2012 at 7:40 am

I got incredibly carried away at the farmer’s market yesterday too. Everything looks so delicious!

Ratatouille is one of my favorite dishes. I always do basil and thyme, but also like to add fresh rosemary.


Gail Elise July 23, 2012 at 7:41 am

This looks great! I love all of the colors.


Erica { EricaDHouse.com } July 23, 2012 at 7:41 am

I dated a guy from France once who made the BEST Ratatouille. After we split I tried to recreate the dish and it was an epic failure. I’ll definitely give it another shot with this recipe!


Angela July 23, 2012 at 7:46 am

hah well, my recipe sure isn’t traditional so I’m not sure it will help you, but it did taste good!
I read a handful or articles on traditional Ratatouille on the weekend and there are a lot of different opinions on how to make it (isn’t that how it always goes?). I’d like to try Julia Child’s recipe at some point.


Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn July 23, 2012 at 7:44 am

Market fa-fa-freshhhh! My madre makes the besttttt ratatoullie with ingredients that I’ve never figured out. It’s always good. Mostly I’m just addicted to eggplant.


Lexi @ You, Me, & A World to See July 23, 2012 at 7:50 am

YUM! I love Ratatouille, and it reminds me of that adorable Disney movie now too :)


Janae @ Bring-Joy July 23, 2012 at 7:51 am

What a beautiful farmer’s market! I admit, despite being surrounded by vegetable & fruit farms, I have yet to take advantage of the fresh produce here in Washington. I have been snagging lots of zucchini from my parent’s garden though. Love the bright colors of summer foods, like this.

Yes, I too, was unaware of the tragedy when I posted on Friday (I actually did go to a midnight showing on Thursday & talked about it in my post). Seriously, so, so sad. Heartbreaking.


Brigid July 23, 2012 at 8:08 am

We must be sharing brain waves girl! I JUST made my first ratatouille last weekend.


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat July 23, 2012 at 8:16 am

Mmm this looks lovely Ange! All the colours are so vibrant! I was at the market this weekend too and have been cheffing up all sorts of veggie-based dishes. Sounds like you got quite the haul! Have a fabulous Monday. :)


Brittany and Julie @ twosaucysisters July 23, 2012 at 8:49 am

Mmmmmm this looks wonderful! When we worked as prep cooks last summer, we chopped up the veggies for ratatouille on an almost daily basis, but that hasn`t caused us to stop loving it! Our garden is bursting with zuchinni, and hopefully we will see our tomatoes and peppers turning red soon, so when that happens we`ll make this for sure!


Angela July 23, 2012 at 12:57 pm

I was so excited last summer when my veggies turned red. It’s such a fun experience. Enjoy it!


Holly W July 23, 2012 at 8:54 am

How perfect for my large yellow squash and zucchini that I picked up at the farmer’s market over the weekend! All I need is some eggplant and I’m set. This is a much better recipe than what I was going to make, so I’m totally thrilled that you posted this this morning. Can’t wait for dinner tonight!


Angela (Oh She Glows) July 23, 2012 at 9:09 am

Hope you enjoy it Holly!


Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy July 23, 2012 at 9:00 am

what gorgeous ratatouille! wow! love the colors!


Yellow Haired Girl July 23, 2012 at 9:07 am

So colorful! Looks fantastic!


Emily @ www.main-eats.com July 23, 2012 at 9:45 am

That looks so yummy and fresh for summer. It is truly amazing how the most simple dishes are the most delicious! Thanks for sharing-I have LOTS of veggies to use up this week!


Gail July 23, 2012 at 9:51 am

I work about 2 miles from the theater and I drive by it every day to and from work. I was working the night it happened, and the news started reported it about 2:40am. We were, of course, glued to the tv after that. I was so anxious that day because I work with a lot of people who live in Aurora, and who have teenagers that could’ve been there. Thankfully, no one I know so far was at that theater but it is still so sad that it happened. It’s hard to make heads or tails about it, how someone could do this. But, then I have to remember that this person is a complete psychopath and it’s impossible to figure it out since my brain doesn’t work like his. One of my co-worker’s daughter died at Columbine. I don’t know how he is handling this since he was off on Friday. I hope he’s doing ok, I’m sure this is bringing flashbacks. As with any tragedy, it’s cool to see the whole community come together. I’ve noticed that since the shooting, people in stores and on the streets seem to be a little bit nicer to each other. I think it’s something everyone wants to do to try to make us all feel human.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all of the people affected by this. I love my state and I love the people in it.


Angela July 23, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Hey Gail,
I can only imagine how you are feeling right now, especially being so close. truly haunting, I’d imagine. My heart goes out to you and your community!


Mary July 23, 2012 at 9:57 am

Thanks for the Colorado shout out. I live in Aurora and go to graduate school at UC-Denver, our whole community is very shaken.

P.S. I found Praline Crunch flavor Almond Dream this weekend! So. Amazing.


Angela July 23, 2012 at 1:00 pm

I can only imagine Mary. :(

Thanks for letting me know about the Praline Crunch flavour…I hope to see it in Canada soon.


gail July 23, 2012 at 9:59 am

It looks like my previous comment didn’t make it. I work about 2 miles from the Aurora theater and I drive by it all the time. I work with a lot of people who live in Aurora, and thankfully, as far as I know no one was there that night. This is just horrible what happened and everyone is still in so much shock that it happened again in our beautiful state. It saddens me to think that someone has it in them to perform such an outrageous act, but it makes me very happy and proud to see how the community has pulled together to survive this. I’ve noticed that in the last few days whenever I’m out and about, it seems like people are just nicer to each other. I think we need to be to feel human.

My thoughts and prayers are with all those that are affected by this. I love this state and I love the people in it. Also, the emergency responders and hospital staff are all amazing wonderful people. I hope they all get awarded for their wonderful work they do. There was a memorial last night in Aurora and whenever a speaker mentioned the police or fire department, huge roars of appreciation went up in the audience – very cool.


Andrea @ Vegvacious July 23, 2012 at 10:02 am

This couldn’t be more perfect for a warm summer evening! It would be a great side to serve at a bbq!


Laura July 23, 2012 at 10:03 am

I always buy too much at the farmer’s market too! I like the Burlington mall one too b/c it’s not huge! (if you’ve ever been to the st. Jacob’s one you’ll understand the difference – I grew up with it down the street). I currently have oodles of roma tomatoes to use up this week.


Angela July 23, 2012 at 1:01 pm

I know what you mean! I grew up going to St Jacobs too. I have such fond memories there, but yes a totally different experience.


Rachel July 23, 2012 at 10:07 am

Yum! I’ve been wanting to make ratatouille for so long now..


Stefania @ Revitalize with Stefania July 23, 2012 at 10:09 am

I also posted Friday before I read the news. Craziness. I can’t imagine what they’re going through.


Mary @ Veganfully Me July 23, 2012 at 10:10 am

Yum, will definitely have to try this one out soon!


Michelle @ Eat Move Balance July 23, 2012 at 10:21 am

Looks delicious–I love all summer veggies. But my husband will not eat eggplant. Ever. So, I’d have to leave that out–but I think I could just use more zucchini instead. :)


Marie July 23, 2012 at 10:28 am

I would love to see your take on zucchini bread!! Is this a new recipe you’re working on?


Angela July 23, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Yes it is :) looooove me some zucchini bread.


The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh July 23, 2012 at 11:36 am

I’ve never made it before but between you and the little cartoon mouse touting it’s awesomeness, perhaps I should get to it.


Cookie and Kate July 23, 2012 at 11:48 am

I adore ratatouille, but I’ve never made it myself because it seemed like too much work to cook all the vegetables separately! Love your version, it seems much easier and I know I’d love it.


Angela July 23, 2012 at 1:03 pm

That’s how I felt about it too…I’m so lazy in the summer, I just want my food super easy. I would like to make the traditional version at some point though. Maybe for company! ha


Jessica July 23, 2012 at 12:00 pm

So pretty and so tasty sounding! The prefect dish for someone like me who’s not that into veggies…


Averie @ Averie Cooks July 23, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Such a pretty, colorful dish & I love the pic of the carrots on the farmers market table – so rustic and gorgeous. I want to dive in!


Beks July 23, 2012 at 12:11 pm

How coincidental! My other was just telling me last night to make a ratatouille with some leftover squash and tomatoes. Thanks! I’m going to try this tonight!


Kasandra July 23, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Wow, the farmer’s market vegetables look BEAUTIFUL! I’ve never seen carrots like that before! I love my farmer’s market, but it seems to be a mini one where they don’t tend to go all out with different heirloom varieties and such. Jealous of your selections.. but can’t wait to see what else comes of the trip!


Angela July 23, 2012 at 1:04 pm

I think it was the first time I’ve seen carrots like that at a market before, so of course, I had to take a picture. ;)


Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin July 23, 2012 at 12:46 pm

I love the Burlington market! My sister works at Hutchinson farm, which has a stand there, and she’s always bringing home zucchini and eggplant, so we’ve been making a lot of ratatouille lately too. It’s such a perfect summer meal!


Claire @ green 'n' golden July 23, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Great idea for a fresh, colorful summer meal! I’ve yet to make my own ratatouille and yours looks like an easy way to try it out. Looking forward to making this!


Zestful Lou July 23, 2012 at 1:26 pm

I seem to have the same problem at farmer’s markets. I never come with recipes in mind and I just wander up and down the rows of fresh produce and then usually leave empty handed, or with just a few of the “usual” veggies in my basket. There’s a recipe in the 101 Cookbooks cookbook for chantrelle tacos that look lovely. I’ve always wanted to buy the interesting mushrooms at the market and now that I have a recipe for them, I’m going to do it!

Do you think you’ll be posting that bread and butter pickle recipe?


Anna July 23, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Gosh, that looks tasty! I have a zucchini and an eggplant from the farmers’ market this weekend — this looks like the perfect way to use them up! With some bread and some beans on the side maybe, it would be just perfect!


Allie LeFevere July 23, 2012 at 2:21 pm

That looks delicious! I came into A LOT of zucchini lately (I’m talking TONS), so I will absolutely make this recipe tonight.

Thanks for inspiring!



Lauren July 23, 2012 at 2:22 pm

I really love the combination of flavors and spices in ratatouille. It’s funny, I became intrigued by it after seeing the Disney movie, if you can believe that. The only untraditional thing I may have to add is cheese! :-D


[email protected] July 23, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Yum! The ratatouille looks delish. Your photos are beautiful.


Victoria @ The Pursuit of Hippieness July 23, 2012 at 3:14 pm

This is my dilemma EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I go to the farmer’s market! I was there this morning and literally said to myself “You need to make a list for once in your life!”


Alex @ Raw Recovery July 23, 2012 at 7:39 pm

I appreciate your mention of the tragedy in Colorado. I was born and raised in CO a town away from where this happened it really upset me. You’re the first blogger I’ve read that has made any mention of this, so I really am grateful Angela. Thank you.


Kari @ bite-sized thoughts July 23, 2012 at 7:54 pm

I too am hopeless with planning market visits. Mine are complicated by my tendency to go on bike. There is only so much I can jam in my basket and bag, but I seem to think more will fit. This sometimes ends in a dangerous ride home!

Excessive purchasing aside, this dish looks fantastic – I love the idea of using marinara sauce too.


Jen July 23, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Looks delish! Any idea if it would freeze wells? My mom was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, and I am starting to compile lots of soft veggie recipes on my Pinterest account, so I can make batches of food for her when she doesn’t feel like cooking.



Bex @ Vegan Sparkles July 23, 2012 at 11:08 pm

Ohhh this looks so fresh and tasty especially with the fresh herbs. Is there anything better than the fresh vegetable and herb smell from the markets? I never make a list either and always end up with all sorts of strange combo’s! :-)


Lisa @ the raw serenity July 23, 2012 at 11:53 pm

I have never seen a yellow zuchini in australia before. And I have only ever food kale in 1 store. Talk about deprived!
That dish looks awesome :)


[email protected] Girl in Jordan July 24, 2012 at 4:04 am

Thanks for the great dinner idea!


Heidi kokborg July 24, 2012 at 4:22 am

It looks absolutely delicious! I love your recipes Angela :)


Beth July 24, 2012 at 8:25 am

This is perfect! We are growing eggplant in our garden and I’m running out of ideas on ways to use it, and we get lots of zucchini in our CSA box and from a coworker. I may make this tonight!


Shannon Ruane July 24, 2012 at 1:41 pm

These photos make my mouth water! I was wondering if there might be a good alternative to the red sauce for this recipe? I can’t eat tomatoes due to acidity and am always passing up great recipes such as this one due to lack of creativity with locating a substitute.


Angela (Oh She Glows) July 25, 2012 at 7:09 am

Hi Shannon, What about a simple balsamic dressing or lemon/olive oil dressing?


Anna July 24, 2012 at 7:23 pm

Wow, that’s a pretty impressive assortment at the Burlington mall. Might need to check it out one day!


Katrina July 24, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Just finished the dishes after making this tonight and thought I’d say thanks for the great recipe. How did you know I had all these veggies sitting in my fridge from our CSA? There’s plenty of leftovers for tomorrow night too. YUM!!!


luv what you do July 24, 2012 at 8:51 pm

That looks mouth watering good! I’m adding it to my MUST MAKE list tonight!


Julie July 24, 2012 at 9:34 pm

I had to laugh about your comment on the eggplant skin..I just cooked my first eggplant tonight (roasted slices) and the skin was awful for me…I almost gagged! I will certainly peel it no matter what I make from now on:) I want to try ratatouille also.


Find a Juicer July 24, 2012 at 10:08 pm

Fruits and vegetables are really good for the health that’s why I love to search for fruits and veggies blog. Preparing salads or juices for your family will be a great start of the day!

Thanks for the recipe!


veganamericanprincess July 24, 2012 at 10:54 pm

Thanks for the recipe! Now I know what to do with all the zucchinis and yellow squash I have been getting at my CSA!


Alaine @ My GF & DF Living July 25, 2012 at 8:19 am

I love the idea of a summer ratatouille! Perfect for this time of year and I always seem to have leftover zucchini from going a little crazy at the farmer’s market.


Meghan July 25, 2012 at 5:00 pm

This looks great and sounds so easy! I’ve tried about 4 of your recipes and love each one :) I live near Vancouver and I know you are back east, but where did you buy your Herbamare?


Angela (Oh She Glows) July 26, 2012 at 7:43 am

Hey Meghan, So happy you are enjoying the recipes! I buy the Herbamare at Costco. :) The bottle lasts foreeeeever, haha


Willow July 25, 2012 at 7:05 pm

I love rustic, easy to throw-together meals like this! And they’re always perfect with fresh farmer’s market ingredients. This actually reminds me of something I made last year, with an over-abundance of sweet corn, called Calabacitas. It’s a Mexican dish of zuccini and yellow squash, but the corn (fresh from the market!) really shone!

Wish I had a big bowl of this summer ratatouille… it’s got me craving all kinds of fresh produce!


Tarah @ What I Gather July 27, 2012 at 6:58 am

This looks so good! I’ll be hitting up the farmers market in the morning to make sure I have everything I need to make this one.


Moni Meals July 28, 2012 at 9:33 am

Yum! Love anything from the farmers market. We are so alike Ang, I laugh all the time about it. :) this meal looks perfect right now. I have all the ingredients. :) yum!


Jana August 4, 2012 at 9:43 am

Hi Angela. I chose this recipe last night, knowing I’m going to Milton’s Farmers Market this morning. It looks so delish. So pulling into the parking lot, I believe I saw you leaving?!? Or maybe I just imagined it could be you because I was browsing your site yesterday. Anyhows, I thought it was funny. Oh and I made those yummy oatmeal no bake chocolate cookies last night, sooo very good. My friend liked it too. Enjoy the gorgeous day that’s upon us. Happy long weekend.


Angela (Oh She Glows) August 4, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Hey Jana! Hmm must have been a twin of mine…heh. Unfortunately, we weren’t at the farmer’s market today! I do love that market though. :) Glad to hear you are enjoying the recipes! Happy long weekend to you too!


Jennifer M August 14, 2012 at 12:29 pm

I made this recipe! So simple and so very tasty! Thanx!!!


Laura August 18, 2012 at 6:07 pm

I just bought all these ingredients at the farmer’s market. I can’t wait to serve this for dinner. My family is slowly trying to eat more veggies. If all veggies looked as yummy as the ones in your recipe it wouldn’t be so hard. Thanks for the recipe.


NurseLala13 August 24, 2012 at 6:39 am

Thank you for delish dish! About eggplant – cut it in a half and soak in hot water. It will take care raff skin.


Melissa February 23, 2013 at 8:02 am

I cooked this dish yesterday and it was amazing. Unfortunately I did not have any fresh herbs handy, however it was still super tasty! I served it with quinoa and fresh salad. My fiance loved this dish too! I love the fact it’s so easy to prepare it!


Kristen March 12, 2013 at 9:29 pm

Hi Angela!
I just wanted to let you know that I tried this recipe last night and absolutely loved it. I plenty of leftovers so I used some to make stuffed peppers with some brown rice and I was great. I love going through your site everyday and discovering your many creations and I can’t wait to try more!


Bethany July 1, 2014 at 6:56 pm

My husband really does not like tomatoes but I love all the vegetables in this dish. I made it with the sauce and I loved it but he thought it was too saucy. Can you make it without the sauce or what are alternatives you would suggest?


Katie July 8, 2014 at 6:38 pm

This is *so* good! I didn’t measure out the chopped veggies, just used the whole thing so had to add a little extra sauce but neither of us thought that was a bad thing. Saving the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. It was perfect timing harvest wise for us, since everything (even the sauce) could be found at our farmer’s market. May need to make it again next week ;)


Jill March 27, 2016 at 8:30 pm

Made this today with some quinoa!!! It was delicious – didn’t really measure anything but turned out well and was really easy to make


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