Nine years ago, when Remy decided on the dish that he was going to serve the revered restaurant critic Anton Ego, a palpable silence fell upon me. I asked myself, what could this genius rodent serve a man whose very name instilled fear in grown men? I momentarily imagined all the possible out of this world concoctions they could have served him—then, it was decided. They were going to serve the formidable Anton Ego, ratatouille. Rata-what? What was this this dish that made the critic sigh in pleasure? Thus, my research began.
A traditional French dish from Nice (which by the way does not rhyme with ‘mice’), the ratatouille is a hearty vegetarian dish that consists of various vegetables. The summer dish usually contains tomatoes, zucchini, eggplants, and bell peppers. Having a stash of some ratatouille hidden away make this an easy, well-rounded meal—if you watch the cheese. Each vegetable in the ratatouille lends its individual flavor to the dish. This dish has a range of textural variety, and the unctuous, mildly salty mozzarella adds contrast to the ratatouille and the glazed chicken.
We take notes from the popular melted cheese rice dishes making mouths water all around the internet, and present a fun, semi-healthy meal. Give this recipe a try for a French-inspired fried rice. Prepare ahead of time and you can easily cut down cooking time by more than half!
Cheesy Ratatouille Fried Rice
Yield: 2–3 servings
Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes (20 min prep / 50 min cooking)
- 1 cup zucchini, diced
- 1 cup eggplant, diced
- 1 cup carrots, diced
- ½ cup red bell pepper, diced
- ½ cup tomatoes, diced
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1½ tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp dried Italian herbs
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 piece chicken breast, diced
- 2 cup rice, cooked
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 egg
- 150g mozzarella
- Green onions, for garnish
- Mix together all of the following ingredients: zucchini, eggplant, yellow squash, bell peppers, tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, tomato paste, salt, pepper, and Italian herbs until well combined.
- In a sauté pan, heat 1 tbsp of butter and sear your chicken for 10 minutes. Add in the oyster sauce and coat the chicken. Set aside. Using the same pan, add the ratatouille ingredients and cook for 30 minutes covered and 10 minutes uncovered.
- Once ratatouille is cooked, mix the cooked rice with the ratatouille in a large bowl.
- In a separate pan, cook your egg to your preferred doneness.
- Melt the mozzarella in a glass cup for 2 minutes and 30 seconds in the microwave or in an oven for 5 minutes on broil.
- Serve the fried rice with egg and chicken on top and cheese on the side.