July 22, 2007

I'm No Remy...

Nor does it dazzle like this (shedoesnthavekidsyetshedoesnthavekidsyet), but it was damn tasty!

It occured to me that the release of Ratatouille was brilliantly timed with the onset of the nightshade vegetables in the dish. When I opened my CSA box on Wednesday and saw: eggplant! zucchini! tomato! well, es mus sien.

I haven't made ratatouille since I gave up vegetarianism over 10 years ago. To be honest, I never really liked this dish. How, you ask in horror? This is how: you're from the Midwest and your version, like all your food, is drowning in cheese and tomato sauce.

There was something about the seasoning, too... the basil stewing with the pepper... so imagine my relief when I opened Mastering the Art and found the recipe was seasoned only with salt, pepper and parsley. (Parsley. If that isn't in season now, nothing is.) She also has you cook off almost all the tomato juice. Exactly.

And well, I like ratatouille sans sog, sans basil, with a mere smattering of cheese.

Better yet, I get it. I feel like we've travelled so far from where food comes from that the obviousness of combinations in traditional dishes is no longer obvious. I don't know whether to be more embarrassed of being outsmarted by a little rat or the marketing executives at Pixar, but here's to many more mid-summer ratatouilles to come.


Kelly Mahoney said...

I just saw Ratatouille today. And that dish is so colorful.

Janet said...

Oooo, sounds wonderful. I have an abundance of zucchini and eggplant here. Could you share your recipe?

Ruth said...

The list:

red pepper

The gist:

thinly sliced zucchini and eggplant - sauteed in olive oil one minute per side. set aside in dish.

thinly slice onion and red pepper then sauteed together until soft. add diced, seeded, skinned, tomato and cover, simmering for 5 minutes. uncover, season with salt and pepper and let juices evaporate.

take roasting pan and layer tomatoes, onions and peppers along the bottom. lay in zucchini and eggplant, alternating them one after the other, sprinkle with chopped parsley. on that, add another layer of tomatoes, onions peppers and parsley, then a layer of zucchini eggplant and parsley. finally add the remaining tomatoes, onions, peppers and parsley. cover with parchment paper and bake in 425 over for 10 minutes. remove paper and finish uncovered for about 15 minutes. grate a fresh, hard cheese on top and voila!