Grilled Vegetable Ratatouille – And my second Cookbook!

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Ratatouille is one of those dishes that always sounds really good in theory: peak-season vegetables stewed together in a rich, tomato sauce with herbs and olive oil. How could this be anything but delicious? But whenever I’ve ordered it at a restaurant, my high hopes have been dashed with a pile of mushy vegetables that isn’t really a soup, or a stew or even a main dish.

After a farmer’s market blow out last week, I was preparing a bunch of veggies for the grill: eggplant, zucchini, peppers, and considering a tomato-basil salad for the side. As the veggies were grilling it dawned on me that I had everything I needed to make ratatouille. My first instinct was to run and grab the veg off the barbeque, but I stopped myself realizing the great potential of adding the grilled goodies to the tomato base instead of the traditional method of cooking everything together. Would this simple change-up make the difference and prevent mushy-ness? It was just crazy enough to work.

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I got to caramelizing onions on the stove to create the base, then added garlic, tomatoes, lemon slices and balsamic. So far, so good. The veggies were beautifully charred and grill-marked when I went to check on them, so I pulled them off, gave them a rough chop and added them to the simmering tomato mixture. So far, so really good.

As I was contemplating how to make this a more substantial meal, I remembered that I had cooked lentils in the fridge. If you recall my slightly gripe-y post about restaurants halfway catering to vegetarians with dishes that were delicious but not all that “complete”, you’ll see how traditional ratatouille definitely falls into this category. The quickest fix and simplest solution is adding lentils, in those cases and this one. So without hesitation the pulses took the plunge and not only added protein and fiber, but gorgeous texture and colour as well. For the win!

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The final result is something I am pretty stoked about and definitely making again. It’s a rich-tasting, chunky, hearty summer-in-a-bowl. My ratatouille may not have much in common with the classic version beyond its base ingredients, but I think that it’s far more filling and delicious. The grilled veggies prevent the mushiness from taking hold, as they miraculously hold their shape and tenderness while adding a bonus flavour layer of smokiness. If you don’t have lentils, chickpeas or white beans would make fabulous stand-ins. You can also leave the legumes out altogether, but they definitely turn this light side dish into a more complete meal.

To take my Grilled Vegetable Ratatouille over the top, serve it with plenty of olive oil drizzled over the top and a solid hunk of bread or toast on the side. This dish keeps well for up to four days in the fridge, or I imagine in the freezer for a few months. I’ve already made another batch for a future dinner – I can hardly wait for the next time I’m too tired to cook.

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The next thing I’m going to tell you has been the second most difficult secret I’ve ever kept…I’ve written another cookbook!!! It’s called Naturally Nourished: Healthy, Delicious Meals made with Everyday Ingredients, and it will be available for purchase February 14, 2017.

This book was a major departure from the first cookbook, and a true response to the feedback I’ve received from you. Some readers found the ingredient lists from the first book too daunting, expensive, or unfamiliar, so the recipes from this next one can all be found at a discount grocery store! I wanted to remind everyone (including myself) that we all have access to fresh, healthy food in our supermarket, and that by preparing it consciously with simple techniques, we can make incredibly tasty meals every day on any budget. I absolutely loved creating this book as it pushed myself to the creative limits. I am so proud of the recipes and I know you’re going to love them as much as I do!

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I’ll keep you all updated as far as pre-orders go and my book tour. Thank you all again for inspiring me to write this book!

All love,
Sarah B

Show me your Grilled Vegetable Ratatouille on Instagram: #MNRratatouille



87 comments

  1. Anna @ Freelance Content Writer

    Oh Sarah! Never tried anything with Ratatouille before. Appears like a perfect combination with grilled vegetables. I shall definitely try the recipe this weekend with my husband and let you know my feedback.

    By the way, congratulations on your new book. I am getting one for myself! 🙂

  2. Nico

    Made this for the first time yesterday, and it was so good, I had three servings! Perfect meal for trying to stay nourished during the summer, I’m just eating it cold with toast and loving it. Thank you, Sarah!

  3. Marjy

    Congratulations on the new book! I think I could do this entirely on the grill if the lentils are already cooked and I use some grill space to caramelize the onions in a cast iron skillet. The other advantage to grilling this is that all of these vegetables peak at the time of year when my stove and I are not on speaking terms because well, Southern California so if I can’t grill it or cook it in my rice cooker, I just don’t bother with it. I’m excited to try it!

  4. Emma @ Remodeling contractors Charlotte NC

    I’m so excited for your brand-new cookbook! I LIKED your initial one. It’s truthfully the very first cookbook I delighted in cover to cover. I generally don’t such as all the dishes in cookbooks, I tend to have only a pair faves however your preference is my taste and I like each recipe. Plus the photography is magnificent. Cannot wait!

  5. Alma @ Freelance Content Writer

    Oh my benefits, these pictures are so lively that I can taste this gorgeous ratatouille recipe! I adore grilled veggies so soothing and also warming as the climate obtains colder! Appears as well as looks like a scrumptious dish, Which exceptional sensation when you have all the active ingredients currently in your refrigerator. Certainly will try this tonight … Congratulations on the Chef Reserve!

  6. Caroline

    Oh my goodness, these pictures are so vibrant that I can taste this gorgeous ratatouille recipe! Thank you for sharing, I can’t wait to give this a try!

  7. LETOURNEUR

    Bonjour Sarah, je m’appelle Florence, j’ai 47 ans, je vis dans un petit village en Normandie et je parle très peu anglais… je vous connais depuis quelques mois et je suis inscrite à votre newsletter et votre Instagram, grâce à vous j’ai beaucoup appris sur l’alimentation végétalienne (merci au traducteur sur Internet !) alors j’espère de tout mon coeur que votre second livre sera traduit en Français ??? Dans le cas contraire, je l’achèterai quand même + un dictionnaire ! Merci pour tout ce que vous faîtes et je vous souhaite plein de belles choses pour l’avenir

  8. Nina B

    That excellent feeling when you have all the ingredients already in your fridge. This looks so good & is definitely on the menu for tonight. Congratulations on the cook book 🙂

  9. Kacang Almond

    So excited about your second book! your first sure gets a workout around here… My next book is out in October The Paleo Diabetes Diet Solution. Hope your book tour brings you back to to…

  10. Rita

    This is amazing! I am enjoying your recipies so much and have learnt a ton – about food, creativity in the kitchen and sprouting 🙂 When I was making something from the first book it would always be a “special occasion” pursuit and it took me a few days (and dollarzzz) to gather everything (living in NYC). I enjoyed the outcome so much though and the fact that those recipies actually stretched my culinary comfort zone and made me learn about new foods (hello, caraway seeds, brown rice syrup…). With that said, I haven’t been cooking out of it as often as my tastebuds wish. Can’t wait for this to come out and keep me jamming in the kitchen during NYC windy winter!!

  11. Veronika

    I’m so excited for your new cookbook! I LOVED your first one. It’s honestly the first cookbook I enjoyed cover to cover. I usually don’t like all the recipes in cookbooks, I tend to have only a couple favorites but your taste is my taste and I love every single recipe. Plus the photography is stunning. Can’t wait!

  12. Priscilla B.

    Just pre-ordered your second cook book! Your first is open and filled with notes on my kitchen table right now! 🙂

    I have a question, though. Is it possible for you to release your app for Android users as well? I’ve been wanting to get it since you launched it but it’s not available on Google Play. 🙁

  13. Chieko Makino

    Hi Sarah, Congrats on your new book! You must have worked so hard on it. Hope to read the book soon. I am a flexitarian who eats meat occasionally. I followed paleo diet before I became flexitarian. I noticed Michelle Tam of Nom Nom Paleo cited your recipe on her facebook page. It is your MAPLE CINNAMON GRAIN-FREE GRANOLA recipe. I might give it a try, too. Looks yum!

  14. Mirte Kaan

    Dear Sarah,
    Your book was on my wish list for a while, and is now shining on the shelve of cookbooks: what a great book!! Tips for preparing basics and cooking with the seasons: this is my kind of cooking, I love it. I should get some information on that on my website (about IBS/FODMAP diet) as my readers will love to know more about that.
    I also wanted to say that I have made this ratatouille for the guests staying in the hotel I work in at the moment, and they loved it.
    Thank you for your knowledge and fun way to look at healthy eating: not by extremes, but just by thinking clearly about seasonal food without any junk. When reading your story I recognized a lot: I was always very food-orientated (when younger that focus was on candy, when growing older the focus shifted to the whole foods section 😉 ) but only made the step to REALLY do something with it about 2 years ago. Now, a website and a (small) cookbook later I was on that same point again: I just want to cook! I am cooking in a hotel in Switzerland for 1/2 year now, but will be finished with that in about 2 months. In november I will go back to Holland again and think about where I can do what I love to do most: make people happy with healthy food.
    Thank you for your inspiration and cheerfulness to just eat. Just eat healthy and just eat really good food.
    Love,
    Mirte Kaan

  15. alwayshungry

    So I’ll just add my voice to soooo many others: “Congratulations on your new book!!!” I honestly think it’s a brilliant idea. Though like many of your groupies my pantry is better stocked then many organic shops I truely believe it will be refreshing to have a nurishing cookbook with simple ingrediants. I think you will touch a much larger audiance. Often I’ll make a dish that is appreciated but when my guests ask for the recipe they find just the list of ingrediants daunting! On another note, I made your bean fondue yesterday and it was a hit!!!! Thank you for, well I guess, just being you!…Come to France on your book tour!

  16. Chiara

    I’ve been waiting for this moment ever since you told me in Copenhagen last summer 🙂 Congratulations! The cover looks stunning and the concept is so perfect that I know the rest of the book is going to be just as rad if not more! Now on to the hard part – waiting for February…

  17. Ian

    Hey Sarah, congratulations on your second book! Can this ratatouille be served in a dinner with kids? I’m hosting a family dinner this weekend planning to make this.

  18. alessia

    Done this today and oh my gosh it was so nice I had it both for lunch and dinner. I substituted lentils (I’ve run out of them) with mung beans and it worked like a charm. Never been a big fan of ratatouille..until now! Very clever Sarah

  19. Jessie Snyder | Faring Well

    Firstly, your method here might actually get me to make ratatouille! I’ve never been a fan of it’s traditionally mushy texture and lack of protein – but hello did you nail it here or what Sarah! Totally brilliant. And this cookbook (!!!) I AM FLIPPING. I already love your first so much, I’m doing cartwheels thinking about this second one now too. Thank you for all of the gorgeous work that you do for us all, it is way appreciated <3

  20. Mary

    Made this over the weekend and it was fabulous – nearly licked the bowl! Lemon slices and balsamic are my new add ins for tomatoes. Just a perfect combo. Thank you !

  21. Kathleen Gasperini

    This looks like a great way to have a new meal with all of my garden veggies and grill! Good idea with the lentil also. I can’t wait for your new cookbook, wow! I love the first one and make recipes from it all the time. But this second one sounds excellent too, congratulations!

  22. Kate

    Just picked a healthy pint of cherry tomatoes from the garden today and they all went straight into this dish. I’ve been looking for a ratatouille that is less time consuming than the traditional method and this recipe hit the spot! The char from the grill added a nice depth of flavor and the lentils were a perfect addition. What a beautifully comforting dish!

  23. adriana

    This looks amazing. For those of us apartment-dwellers who are sadly grill-less, what alternative methods do you suggest for cooking the veggies to obtain a similar result?

    Love your first book by the way – a pure aesthetic gem

  24. Cassie

    I’m so excited Sarah! I already LOVED your first cookbook and I cannot to see what’s in store! Also, this ratatouille looks MAGNIFICENT. I need to find a time to make it after I recover from my wisdom teeth removal!

  25. Bárbara Verónica Roberti

    MY GOODNESS this is a YUMMY dish, as we are getting older with my husband we realised eating to much red meat affect our digestion so I am trying to make as many vegetarian meals as posible but because we have eating meat all our lives find recipes that my hubby will like and eat has become a bit of a shore, we eat lots of legumes because where we come from (Chile) is part of our diet, now since we migrate to Australia we have learned to eat more veggies and lttle by little we have leave red meat a bit out of our diet and now we only eat it once a fortnight, this dish add to my book of vegetarians dishes, thank you so much. Bárbara.

  26. Leah

    first yum! can’t wait to try this recipe. and second, YUM again and a big hooray for the new cookbook! i just bought the book 1 and it’s beautiful and genius. everything i’ve made from it so far is crazy delicious. thank you so much sarah for sharing your bountiful gifts with all of us!! oxo

    • Sarah Britton

      Hi Leah!

      Thank you so much! And I’m thrilled that you’re enjoying the first book 🙂 I’m pretty excited to hear what you’ll think of this next one! It was a fun challenge and I’m proud of the recipes that have come out of it.

      I hope you get to try the ratatouille. It’s YUM.

      xo, Sarah B

  27. Anya

    Sarah, this is so exciting, congratulations!!! You are so good at keeping secrets. The book looks and sounds beautiful, as does this ratatouille. I’m in love with the photos here.

    • Sarah Britton

      Hi Anya,

      Aw, shucks. Thank you. The photos were taken at my summer cottage and probably look really different from my regular ones. I found it really challenging with the different space! Haha.
      Anyway, yes indeed the recipe – it’s like gorging yourself on summer.

      xo, Sarah B

  28. Rebeca

    Yes, second cookbook!! I LOVE your first one, I’ve tried a lot of the recipes and they always turn out delicious. The cover for this one looks beautiful, and I’m sure it’ll be amazing.
    Also, I’m all over this ratatouille. Happening soon.

  29. Allison

    Whoa! Congrats! I’m looking forward to picking this one up in the new year. Your first book has been a treat to cook through, and inspires me in my own work. Thank you for your words, recipes & photos, Sarah!

    P.S. Hearty ratatouille for the win!

  30. Maggie

    Sarah, I am over the moon about your second book. The first one is my all time favorite and has many pages with food stains on it. Use your recipes on a weekly basis. You are an inspiration. Thank you for your hard work and dedication. From your upstate New York foodie.

  31. Maria del mar

    The second BOOK! so happy for you girl! You ROCK. By the way your ratatouille turned out so rich in color. Mine although delicious always turns out less bright. I guess I should use those spices.

  32. Nina

    I love ratatouille and this one so juicy and full of flavour! And your second book is wonderful news, I pre-ordered the last one as soon as it was possible and will be doing the same with this one, can’t wait to see the photography, I really liked the looks fo the last one!

  33. Elenore Bendel Zahn

    I love you so much and Im so proud of you! My dearest dearest darling honey pot! You are a miracle. Cannot waaaaaait to have this babe in my (new!) home. Sheila did som good grocery runs 😉 Also, Canada is too friggin’ far away. Miss you like crazy.

  34. Shannon

    Wonderful news. Congrats, Sarah! I hope to catch the book tour in Copenhagen – where, by the way, I find it to be really challenging to find a diverse set of ingredients – so I need this cookbook!

  35. Jill Hillhouse

    So excited about your second book – your first sure gets a workout around here! My next book is out in October – The Paleo Diabetes Diet Solution. Hope your book tour brings you back to TO!

    • Sarah Britton

      Hey Jill!

      Congrats on YOUR book! That is wonderful news 🙂 Can’t wait to see it.
      Yes, I’ll be dropping by TO for sure, and I’d love to see you, as always. Hope you are well!

      love, Sarah B

  36. Susan

    Congratulations on your new cookbook! That’s quite an accomplishment. When I read the list of ingredients for your ratatouille, I realized that I know almost nothing about what ingredients are usually used for the dish. Your recipe does sound very good. I especially like the grilled veggies (I think roasting would work, too), because that adds a lot of flavor to a dish.

  37. Monica

    Sarah, your passion & love for all things nourishing are always an inspiration. Congratulations on another book. Thank you for sharing your joy with us all! x

  38. nettelie

    AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! Congratulations on delivering a second book, lady! I can’t wait to start cooking from it (and to see you again in Amsterdam, or so I hope! It’s been toooooo long.) In the meantime I will keep myself occupied with the above recipe. It looks so delicious, I could eat it right now. Yep. Will make this ASAP. xo!

  39. Mona

    Oh my… A second cookbook!!!! How exciting! Just completed cooking the first round of your cookbook. Now as autumn is coming up I will cook the favorites again and try the recipes that I didn’t get to last year. I found the arrangement into seasons so helpful and inspiring. The ginger ale was a big hit with my friends. I think my favorite recipe was probably the quinoa risotto though its so hard to choose because all the ones that i cooked turned out delicious. Thank you Sarah! Really looking forward to another beautifully written book and recipes I know I will enjoy!

  40. Sarah | Well and Full

    I’m so excited to hear that you’re writing another cookbook!! Your first cookbook is actually my favorite cookbook of all time (seriously) and it’s provided me with so much inspiration ever since I bought it. I understand why some of your readers might have said that some ingredients were too obscure or hard to find, but I personally loved that aspect of the book. I love discovering new foods (like freekeh or rose petals), so your book was perfect in that regard. But I AM excited to see that you’re writing a cookbook with more common ingredients – I already know it will be a favorite on my bookshelf!! 🙂

  41. Medha

    Love the idea of throwing lemon slices and balsamic into the base! This looks incredible and definitely heartier and more filling than typical vegetarian ‘entrées’. That shot of your farmer’s market bounty is to die for!

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