Sketching Out Blog: Sketches of art, watercolor, photos, recipes, books, interviews, Jewish topics, and Highland Park, New Jersey


or Rat-Tat-Too-Eeee as it is pronounced and affectionately called

I enjoy making this delicious, warming dish in the cold winter months. You may also serve it at room temperature.


  • 1 medium sized eggplant (see note below for substitutes)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 zucchinis
  • some mushrooms (optional)
  • some red wine (or substitute tomato juice or broth)
  • 1 can tomatoes (or use fresh ones if available)
  • optional herbs: parsley, basil (I don’t usually have these in the winter)
  • optional hot stuff: hot pepper (jalapeno), hot pepper sauce, or schug
  • olive oil

Note: if you don’t like eggplant or you don’t eat nightshades, you can use squash, yam or sweet potato instead. The taste is a bit different, but it is delicious all the same.

Cube and stir fry the eggplant in olive oil in a large-bottomed pan (I use a wok-like pan). Alternatively, you can bake the eggplant whole, especially if you have the oven on for other dishes. Then chop the baked eggplant and add after the onions are sauteed. Take the eggplant out of the pan and put aside. Chop and sautee the onions and garlic in olive oil and cook until translucent. Add the mushrooms. When the mushrooms soften, add sliced zucchini and a bit of red wine or other flavorful liquid. Add the cooked eggplant and cover. When the zucchini has softened, add the tomatoes and herbs. May be served warm or at room temperature. Easy to re-heat.

More on nightshades (though I don’t know how you could make this without tomatoes)

Speaking of ratatouille, did any of you see the movie? I thought it was OK, but when it comes to mouse/rat movies, I really preferred the recent The Tale of Despereaux. Anyone see that one or read the book?

Mottel says

I love ratatouille, and this one looks great!

Ilana-Davita says

I find that in winter canned tomatoes are tastier than fresh ones.
Thanks for this warming recipe.

Mrs. S. says

Try as we might, neither my husband nor I like eggplant. Obviously, we're not really that Israeli. In fact, we don't even like olives...
(*hangs head in shame*)

soulbrush says

i'm not a ratatooyeee person, don't drink wine, am quite a foodnik! like you, i prefer a raw salad with some nuts, to anything in the whole brother's first love was called leora...are you originally from south africa?
i feel as though we've made a connection here in bloggyland, so i am going to add you to my list of bloggy friends and visit you often.

Leora says

Welcome, soulbrush. No, I've never been to South Africa, though I had a friend from there at one point. My mother just saw the name on a list of Hebrew names and liked it.

Mottel, thanks for commenting. I love when you tweet about your lunch.
Ilana-Davita, yes, maybe I should rephrase that and say don't even both with a tomato you find in winter. Or maybe not.

Mrs. S., so, do you do squash? sweet potato? pumpkin? You could try those with this recipe, no eggplant necessary.

Now that you mention it, I bet some olives mixed in with this recipe would be a tasty variation.

Mrs. S. says

When I make ratatouille, I just omit the eggplant and increase the onions, the mushrooms and - especially - the zucchinis. It may not be traditional, but it works for us. I especially like that ratatouille also tastes good served at room temperature, which means that it works well for Shabbat lunch in the summer.

phyllis says

mmm....sounds so yummy. i might have to pick up an eggplant and make me some of this yumminess...

Klara says

I was fascinated by your link to nightshades. I realize two people do not a scientific study make, but to those two people who are now free of pain because they have eliminated nightshades, I'll bet they could care less about scientific studies. It's a shame that more people don't have access to this knowledge, especially those in pain. In our circle we have a doctor who'd had knee problems and was told would need surgery - he also opted to first try diet and eliminate all nightshades - and is happy to tell everyone he can how he easily was able to heal without resorting to surgery.

Quietpaths says

This appears to be very similar to something I do in the late summer when we have too many squash but I am going to try this with eggplant. Wonderful and thank you for posting this and giving the background info.


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