If you are among those who have never experienced fresh ratatouille; your life is about to be changed.
I know, a little hyperbole doesn’t hurt anyone. But, I’ll never forget the first time I had ratatouille. It was an extremely hot July day, in the early 1970’s; I was watching my Mom at the stove, as she added a gargantuan helping of fresh basil to this bubbling, colorful panful of vegetables, none of which I liked. I remember thinking, that’s what we’re having for dinner, “bummer”
Fast forward many summers,
hundreds of eggplants, countless zucchini and all the ratatouille ingredients #cookingforyoumylove is busting @$$ making for you now. Thinking about the brilliance of this stew of summer vegetables, it’s a dish you can get three dinners out of, (more later). Any of us who have ever had gardens, can really appreciate the dilemma of what to do with all the vegetables your kids won’t eat. Ratatouille will change all that. No hyperbole.
A good cook knows how to read a room.
You’ve got a guy who has been working on a broken water pipe all morning, don’t give him a small salad. Heat up the left over Ratatouille, and have one of the best man-pleasing sandwiches ever served on toasted sour-dough bread. Killer! Or all the kids are home, and have been lurking in the kitchen, looking worried, wondering if they are, 1.) Going to like dinner 2.) Will she make enough 3.) And most importantly, what’s for dessert? Ratatouille has changed all that by being one of the most requested dinners I make. Though, I have heard mumbling regarding the polenta accompanying the Ratatouille. In my blog, Ahh! Delicata, I confess to a tendency to over serve the foods I love.
Prep time: 30 Minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
- One large eggplant
- 2 small zucchini (I used one zucchini and one yellow crookneck squash)
- 1 large red onion sliced in rings
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 red or green bell pepper deseeded and sliced
- 16 oz can tomato chunks
- A bunch of basil leaves pulled off stem
- Olive oil
- Cut eggplant in rings. Sprinkle each with salt. Stack and cover with a paper towel. Place on a baking sheet and place a heavy pan, or a brick on top in order to leach out the water. Let sit for 20 minutes.
- In a large skillet heat olive oil medium high.
- Roast eggplant skillet, turning often, but browning well.
- Add the squash, onions, garlic and bell pepper roasting 25 minutes.
- Pour the can of tomato, juices too, break up any large chunks
- Stir in the basil, salt/pepper
- Cover with lid and simmer for 1 hour
- Bring 4 cups of either water or vegetable broth to boil
- Stir in polenta, 2 TBS buttery spread, garlic salt
- Cook and stir for ten minutes or until thickened (coats the spoon well)
- Fold in the dairy-free parmesan
- And salt to taste
Now you’re ready to plate a beautiful and colorful dish of ratatouille with polenta. I scoop out a large spoonful of polenta, top that with the ratatouille, hit it with a healthy snow of parmesan, and a sprinkle of minced fresh parsley. Ohhhh, it’s come to Mama time 🙂 And you will discover it’s a meal that keeps giving and gets better everyday. Out of one batch of ratatouille; we had three dinners. Two were with the polenta, and last night we had it served over spinach pasta, with a side of caramelized baby carrots from the garden. Delish!!
Have any of you watched the animated film, Ratatouille?
If you haven’t, you must. Give yourself a mini-vacation from the world and escape to Paris. Sit back and let a little rat who dreams of being a famous french chef teach you the fine intricacies of working the back kitchen of a fancy restaurant. What’s not to love about that.
(‘Brigade de cuisine’ – Kitchen Brigade)
(I just love this little guy.)
BTW; the zucchini fritters I made last week have continued to be a big hit around here. Last night, I whipped up a batch where I substituted Chickpea flour for the white flower, and I used green zucchini plus the yellow crookneck squash. Not only were they tasty, but with the one cup of chickpea flour, I was giving us 14 grams of protein. We’ll take it…
Speaking of protein,
We’re on a mission to make sure Rick is getting at least 60 grams everyday. The hormone treatment is reeking havoc with his body; he’s all over the place emotionally, and just feels really weird.
But, we’ve discovered having little helpings during the day of nuts ie. walnuts, almonds and cashews, has really helped with the feeling of being on a roller coaster ride; extremely anxious and hangry. Get this, in one ounce of walnuts provides 4.3 grams of protein. A little handful, with some shredded coconut and a couple of raisins for iron and all is well.
Make sure you take in the night sky this weekend.
We have a comet visible to the naked eye, and the last comet to visit us for 7000 years. You don’t want to miss this celestial display. Her name is Neowise, she will be her brightest about an hour and half after sunset between now and Sunday. Look to the north-north-west and about 10 degrees above the horizon.
It’s good to be alive 🙂