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Ratatouille? - carolekv - 09-08-2008

I have been searching for a recipe for a version of Ratatouille that I had many times when I lived in Marseille at the age of 14-15. It was Ratatouille, but had chicken and garbanzo beans in it, was served on a bed of couscous and harissa sauce was put on the table for a topping. There was a big Algerian influence on the food there, so it is probably a combination French-Algerian dish. But funny thing is, as prevalent as I remember it to be (this was 1974-75 though, mind you), I cannot find a recipe anywhere. I guess I'll improvise but so far, it's just not been quite as good. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!!!

Re: Ratatouille? - Old Bay - 09-08-2008

I'll bet there were preserved lemons in it!! Maybe capers?

Re: Ratatouille? - cjs - 09-09-2008

hmmm, sounds like a fun mission to be on. Let us know when you find 'your dish' - it's interesting how many Ratatouille recipes don't call for garbanzos - lots of eggplant and zucchini.

I like Bill's idea of adding the preserved lemon and capers - all this would be fun to experiment with.

Re: Ratatouille? - carolekv - 09-09-2008

Not sure if it had those or not, but I was a kid then, so just remember how good it was. It seemed to be in lots of restaurants, my parents made it often, that kind of thing. I'll ask my Dad actually - he's a great cook and will probably remember...

Re: Ratatouille? - DFen911 - 09-09-2008

I found this -

Yields 4 servings

1 package (10 ounces) NEAR EAST Original Plain Couscous

3 teaspoons olive oil, divided

1 large green bell pepper, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

1 small eggplant, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chopped tomatoes, undrained

1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Prepare couscous according to package directions, adding 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and add green pepper when adding water.
Meanwhile, in large non-stick skillet, heat remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add eggplant, onion and garlic; cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until eggplant is lightly browned.
Stir in tomatoes. Cover; simmer over low heat 15 minutes, stirring once.
Stir in garbanzo beans and basil. Cover; remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes.
Serve vegetable mixture over bed of couscous

Re: Ratatouille? - cjs - 09-09-2008

I saw that one also, Denise, but looking at it it sure doesn't look like it has much flavor...imo

Re: Ratatouille? - carolekv - 09-09-2008

Checked with my dad, and he said that it came out of a box for a couscous meal in Marseille grocery store, then he started making his own for us. It is never the same, and he uses the garbanzo beans and chicken and harissa because that's what we had in that box.

SO, I made it tonight and it was a great success. Basically chopped up eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, onion, garlic, tomatoes and sauted them all in olive oil for a bit. At same time, broiled some chicken pieces that had been marinated in a balsamic/olive oil dressing in which I marinate everything under the sun. Threw that in. Salted, peppered, basiled, and herbe de provence'd it. Made packaged couscous, thru ratatouille on top of it in individual pasta bowls, and served with hot sauce (could not find my harissa anywhere). It was well loved by all!!!

Re: Ratatouille? - cjs - 09-10-2008

and it sounds delicious - good investigating, Carole!

Re: Ratatouille? - DFen911 - 09-10-2008

That's the problem with family know they all get tweaked and special things added.

Ok we must all make a vow to right our special recipes down for our kids. Even though my kid doesn't like to cook at all maybe someday she will, or even grandchildren

Re: Ratatouille? - - 09-10-2008

That does sound really good - thanks for posting this -