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Minnesota Cooking: Mock Ratatouille Recipe

Char is a creative writer, artist, and inventor—in and out of the kitchen.


Almost Ratatouille

The other day, I was offered this recipe by my hubby's mom. It was simple and fast. She insisted that it was very delicious.

Well, I cooked it up and tasted it, and she was right. It was pretty good. So, as I diced and heated and sautéed and simmered, I took pictures for you.

A friend of mine, years ago, had told me about ratatouille. But this recipe is a little different, since the recipes for ratatouille include zucchini. This recipe does not.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

20 min

20 min

40 min

Serves one person with leftovers.


  • 1 eggplant, peeled and cubed
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 4 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tablespoon Lawry's, seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper, fresh ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon optional basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon optional oregano leaves


  1. Put oil in pan, add teaspoon of minced garlic. Add diced onions. Sprinkle with Lawry's and black pepper.
  2. Peel and chop eggplant into cubes, dice tomato, mince green pepper. Place eggplant into pan, then add tomato and green pepper. Sprinkle with Lawry's again.
  3. Heat covered for 20 minutes. You can simmer for an additional 10 minutes if you want.

Cubing Your Vegetables

Cubing is easy. You simply make a flat side and place it face down on the flat side. Then, make slices across the width of your finger. Then, turn it sideways and cut the other way. Then, flip sideways and gently slice across your pieces.

It sounds hard until you actually try it. I have included pictures of how I diced my tomato and the other vegetables are cut the same.

Peel Eggplant and Dice

In our house, we prefer our eggplant peeled before we dice it. The peeling is done with a regular peeler, like you use for peeling potatoes. Then, slice the ends off. Then, cut the eggplant into finger width cubes.

The eggplant does darken as it sits. Don't be alarmed. It just does.

Oil on Medium Heat

Add your oil to your pan. Put the garlic in the oil. Add your onions. Let caramelize while you dice the rest of your vegetables.

Add Eggplant Next

Then, add the eggplant first, stir around in the oil to coat, then dump the rest of the vegetables on. In my case, the tomatoes and peppers were the last to go in.

Then, it's just a matter of covering the pan and letting it all cook for 20 minutes at which time, I turned the heat to a simmer and let the flavors merge.

Parmesan Cheese

When I ladled some into a bowl, I added some Parmesan Cheese to the top. I like the shreds, but the grated was fine.

The eggplant had tenderized and the flavors of the different ingredients, all merged together to make this tasty dish. Bite for bite it was amazing.

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