So it’s official. The most expedient way to use those delicious, yet endless summer garden veggies is to make ratatouille.
Once again we were sitting on bags of eggplants and two huge zucchini (I think that may actually be the end of them) so I went online and searched for what looked like a good recipe. We knew we wanted a rustic, slow-cooking version rather than the “slice and roast” type with the veggies thinly sliced and artfully arranged like in the “Ratatouille” movie. I found this, a recipe created by Alice Waters of Chez Panisse fame. It looked simple enough so off I went to Whole Foods to rustle up the rest of the ingredients. Here’s what went into the dish:
Except for some salting of the eggplant to coax out the bitterness and lots of slicing and dicing the prep was pretty easy. Sous-chef David was available yesterday so as I got busy sautéing the eggplant (step 1):
he prepped the rest of the ingredients (and artfully arranged them and took a picture):
We doubled this recipe which worked out fine but it made the cook time much longer because so many more veggies needed to cook down. Plus we needed to add more salt and chili flakes for flavor. Here are these veggies (minus the addition of the eggplant) at the beginning of cooking:
This recipe calls for using a “basil bouquet” (you can see it prepped above). It’s just a bunch of basil tied with kitchen twine and left to infuse into the dish. When the vegetables are soft and the dish is ready you give the bouquet a final squeeze and remove it. More fresh basil is chopped and added to the dish just before serving. After lots of patient simmering and stirring here’s our ratatouille:
This was so good. The vegetables, even after all that cooking retained their shape and texture. The piles of onions added wonderful sweetness and the chili flakes just a hint of heat. We went through plenty of this at dinner and still have lots left to enjoy this week. A little melted fresh mozzarella on top would work for me! This recipe is a keeper.
The Hundred-Food Journey
On another note, David and I went to see “The Hundred-Foot Journey” the other night. From the preview, the movie looked to be a sweet story with lots of food porn and Helen Mirren doing her thing. What could be bad? We thoroughly enjoyed it because it was a sweet story (rated PG) with lots of food porn and Helen Mirren doing her thing. I’m all for a grown up fairy tale with characters who are not created on a computer. As a nice change from the endless summer “blockbusters” and sequels I recommend it.
Enjoy your Sunday everyone!