Travel to the South of France with a Bohémienne

bohemienne eggplant dish France

La Bohémienne

I can still remember the first time when my mother explained to me how to prepare a bohémienne; I was excited at the thought that I was going to be able to reproduce the dish myself. In summer, when we had more eggplants than we knew what to do with, this dish from the South of France was common on our table. Somewhat resembling a ratatouille or a caponata, a bohémienne is however a dish simpler and less time consuming to prepare — it only uses eggplants, onions, garlic, herbs, olive oil and tomatoes. My mum liked to serve hers with rice, grilled meat and salad. It was simple and honest food, of the sort I am quite fond of.

A few weeks ago, I made the dish once again, on my way back from the farmer’s market; the vegetables looked too good and tempting to resist.

This is in fact my latest contribution to the Boston Globe’s Food Section — recipe and story here. So while we are still enjoying the best eggplants that summer has to offer, let’s indulge into a bohémienne, non ? My friend L. tells me that in Russia, they eat a dish quite similar in fact. I like that too; it’s food that does not seem to have borders either.

Posted in French Inspired, Gluten Free, Vegetarian


  1. Buongiorno!
    I’m italian and, although I’ve been reading your blog only for a week, I already tried quite a lot of your delicious recipes. I love this blog and I love your pictures: they inspire me!
    I’m looking forward to cooking this alternative to my usual caponata. Thank you!

  2. We have a similar dish in spain called pisto and it was a staple in our house during the summer months. it looks delicious and lovely bea!

  3. I love this I live on a sort of ratatouille in the fall, but i will definitely pick up these ingredients at the farmer’s market today. I will also get the Globe! thanks you.

  4. Really nice Béa. I make this dish as well, only I add a bit of heat – a couple Hungarian green peppers. I love eggplants, the texture. A comfort food, eh? Oh, and I have to tell you that I finally got a yogurt maker! I can’t wait to make my first batch!

  5. Perfect timing-I was just going to make ratatouille but now will make this instead. Thanks Bea.

  6. This is like an eggplant relish (caponata) or ratatoille, non?
    I love anything with eggplant, this looks simple and yummy.
    Will be making it this week with the many eggplants in my garden!
    Great photos, as always!

  7. I love the idea of spreading it on bread – I made something similar this week and now am kicking myself for not thinking of the fresh bread angle! Lovely photos, too, as always. Your blog is simply gorgeous!

  8. I love ratatouille! You have such a way to make healthy food look yummy and totally edible. Maybe I should try out the recipe some time soon…good for both my skeptical tastebuds and my health. Beautiful photos, as always!!

  9. Everytime I see or make a Bohemienne I think about Maussane and its oil mills! If you are ever in the vincinity, get olive oil from the region, so fragrant! My mom serves it with cornish hens or roasted chicken…delicious! Thanks for a little moment of sunshine!

  10. I’ve coming here for almost two years and I never left a comment. So i thought it was kind of unfair to comment on Flight of the conchords on your last post.
    To make amend, I must admit that I’d never heard of a Bohemienne before (and I live in France), so thanks for this new little piece of knowledge… again.

  11. I love eggplants! I use a very similar recipe on pasta, except I leave eggplant in cubed pieces. Very healthy!
    Thanks for sharing!

  12. Salut de Paris. J’adore la recette, j’avais commencé recemment avec pas mal des recettes avec aubergine. Question: have you ever tried baking the eggplant (cut in half lengthwise, face down on lightly oiled surface)? Also, a no-fail way to make ratatouille I’ve tried is to dice all the veggies, toss w/ olive oil, salt, pepper, herbes de Provence and *bake*!

    I’m going to subscribe to your site!

  13. sorry, forgot to add: bake the eggplant replacing the salt/drain step. Can you compare for us what you think about the two different manners to prepare the eggplant, i.e., salt/drain vs bake.

    Also, when salt/drain, do you wipe off the salt? Rinse off the salt and pat dry? Thanks for your ideas!

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  15. Bonjour… I have always found eggplant to be a difficult puzzle to solve, but your recipe for Bohemienne was simple and truly delicious. Merci beaucoup!
    Amicalement, Glenn

  16. I agree with you. This is very good. I most like this. Travel to the South of France with a Bohémienne is very tasty. That is what I thought when I submitted US patent for it eight years ago. I went through every time I ventured out.