Friday, October 4, 2013

Spicy Harissa Ratatouille

Before the summer weather completely fades away, I highly recommend making this spicy summer stew.  I think it's especially pretty with yellow summer squash and orange tomatoes -- the colors just scream  "Summer!" to me. This stew is full of lots of fresh veggies, and spiced up with harissa, a North African spice paste.  You might find the prepared spice paste at your market, or you can use a dry spice mix, which is what I had on hand.  You can also make your own harissa - check out a couple of recipes here and here. I kept the amount of spice on the low side, but you can always add more to taste.  Heat up some crusty bread on the side to soak up all the yummy juices.

Check out my other ratatouille recipes: roasted ratatouille pasta sauce, ratatouille lasagna.
And, don't forget to enter my giveaway for cacao nib olive oil!

Spicy Harissa Ratatouille (adapted from Home Made Summer)
Serves at least 4

Olive oil
1-1/2 medium yellow onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 medium zucchini or summer squash, diced
1 medium eggplant, diced
4 large-ish tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 large sprigs fresh thyme
1 to 3 tsp dry harissa spice mix or harissa paste, depending on how spicy you like your food

1. Heat a big glug of oil over medium heat in the largest skillet you have (or a large soup pot). Add the onions, and cook them, stirring often, while you chop all the rest of the veggies (10 minutes or so).
2. Add the garlic and saute for another minute.  Then add the pepper, zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, thyme sprigs, harissa, and a generous pinch of salt.  Stir very carefully - it may look like you have far too much for your skillet, but it will cook down eventually!
3. Let the ratatouille bubble over medium-low heat for about half an hour, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are nice and tender.  Remove the thyme sprigs.  Taste and adjust for seasoning.  Serve with crusty fresh bread or creamy polenta.


  1. I do love ratatouille. This version sounds delicious.

  2. Looks delicious! Beautiful photo too! :)

  3. Harissa is one of my favorite spice blends! This ratatouille sounds so good. Hearty, healthy, delicious!

  4. I'm really really not ready to let summer go.
    My goodness we had such a nice August, full of sun.
    Don't you love how the smell of harissa stays in the house for a while? Love that!