Recipe of the month: Arlesian Eggplant Riste

Hello to all !!!

We have arrived to the month of July when we make the most of the sun and our vacations have started! It is time to throw ourselves into our favorite past time…not naps under the pines, but BBQs!
Grilled foods make their comeback, so I suggest that we make Arlesian Eggplant Riste together, a recipe that was recommended to me by a dear friend, from the coast of Arles in the South of France.

This recipe will accompany your barbeque with sweetness, delicacy and flavors that are full of sun. Delicacy because you will stew the dish for a long while in order to extract the flavors that characterize it. Sweetness because hot or cold it will bring an incredible sweetness to your various grilled foods, whether they are meats or fish, accompanied by a chilled Rosé!

The Eggplant Riste is a great classic of Provençal cuisine. Very close to the ratatouille or the bohémienne (eggplant gypsy), this dish from the region of Arles calls for eggplant, tomatoes, onions, garlic cloves, bay leaf, thyme, rosemary, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

This arlesian dish, like all of those that are based on tomatoes and eggplant, didn’t become popular until the 19th century. Eggplant and tomatoes were then treated as poor parents. They only appeared in L’Officine or Répertoire général de pharmacie pratique published in 1856 by François Laurent in the appendix to the paragraph on the potato « We will mention here two other edible solanaceae, they are :

1° Melongene, Mayenne or Varengeane , Solanum esculentum, Dun. , s. melongena, L. , whose berries (mata insania) cylindrical, reddish, under the name of aubergines, are eaten cooked or raw in Provence and Languedoc;

2° Lycopersicon ; Solanum lycopersicon whose fruit is red or yellow, ribbed, depressed and acidic, used in culinary arts under the name tomato, or apple of love. ».

This recipe which I am passing onto you exactly as it was transmitted to me by my friend Muriel Kahn
whom I thank from the bottom of my heart.

If you have too have any recipes that you would like to share, do not hesitate to send them to me!

Thank you to you all and I hope you enjoy your meal!

Total Cooking Time: 5h45


- 5 average sized eggplants (avoid the larger
ones full of seeds)
- 5 good sized cooking tomatoes (canned diced tomatoes will also work very well)
- 2 onions, or 3 small onions
- 1 garlic clove (or 2 or 3 depending on your taste)
- Bay leaves
- 1 branch of thyme
- 1 teaspoon of Provencal herbs
- Olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of flour
- salt

Preparation: 45 min

1) Remove the hard parts of the eggplant. Cut them into 2 or 4, vertically, then in slices of 1 to 2 cm. The goal being to make the pieces big enough but easy to stir in the pot.

2) Fry and reduce these pieces with a bit of olive oil, in a large uncovered pot under a soft/medium fire until they have lost a lot of their water. 15 minutes shall be enough…They easily lose two thirds of their volume (Be sure to not grill them too much!). Make sure to stir them frequently and to not use a lot of olive oil…just enough so that they do not burn.

3) Keep the eggplant in a separate container.

4) Finely chop the onions.

5) Peel the tomatoes (after having them spend 1 minute in very hot water, then in a shot of cold water)

6) Put a drop of olive oil into the pan and brown the onions. They shouldn’t grill or burn! Just brown them well and make them translucent.

7) Then add the peeled and chopped tomatoes, the teaspoon of sugar and the crushed garlic. After 2 or 3 minutes add the eggplants that you’ve already fried, as well as 10 cl of water.

8) Bury the branch of thyme in the mixture

9) Reduce the riste as slowly as possible, ½ covered, while adding water regularly. Slow cook/simmer for two hours or more…

10) When the eggplant begins to melt, sprinkle with a generous tablespoon of flour diluted in 15 cl of water, and mix in to break apart the eggplant, avoid letting the flour get stuck.

11) Put into the refrigerator until the next day

12) Perform a second reduction of 2 hours the next day

13) A third cooling/heating and it will be doughy! Do not hesitate stirring the mixture during these reductions, this accelerates the process.

14) Served hot, this dish will marvelously accompany grilled foods, fish and it is even a fantastic sauce for pastas when it isn’t overcooked, or if it is re-diluted with water.

It is with immense sorrow that we are announcing the passing of Madame Raymonde Bocuse at the age of 93 in Lyon on Thursday June 13th, 17 months after the passing of Mr Paul Bocuse.
We send our thoughts and condolences to the families of Mr and Mrs Paul Bocuse, their children and their grandchildren as well as to all of the teams that worked by their side.

Last modified on 05/09/2019

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