Sunday, August 21, 2011
Ratatouille? A peasant's dish?
Round here, we LOVE Ratatouille. You know...the movie?
My little brother works as a chef in the summers and used to have long curly hair, and of course has the nose (sorry, Matt) so everyone at the restaurant calls him Linguine. My parents went into the restaurant to eat one day and said they were "Matt's parents" and it took a minute before they said OH LINGUINE'S parents! My mom just loves the nickname. She even got him this book at a yard sale when I was home in July.
Ratatouille also happens to be one of the Monkey Scientist's favorite films. We both enjoy watching animated films (I may or may not have cried when we watched Toy Story 3 a couple weeks ago) and he couldn't believe I'd never seen Ratatouille when we met! He brought it back from his parents' house for me when he went home to visit and I just fell in love - what a cute film.
After all this Ratatouille love, I realized I'd never actually had the dish. When I tried to go for a run this week, I was feeling totally unmotivated. Then, I ran into my usual farmer's market. I'd totally forgotten that it's open Tuesdays as well as Saturdays! Seeing all the fresh vegetables, I just knew it was the night for ratatouille. Plus, one of my coworkers had given me some fresh basil from his garden!
I couldn't BELIEVE what an easy recipe it was! It's a one-pot meal - throw it in and let it cook. Totally low maintenance! Of course, as you can see from my pre-cooking photos, I totally ignored the proportions of the ingredients below and loaded up on the crushed red pepper flakes... recipes are just guidelines right?
Now that we've eaten it, I think I love the dish as much as I love the movie. It's totally loaded up on flavor. Plus it has no fat or carbs, yet it's so filling! I enjoyed having fresh veggies from the farmer's market as well, I think they made it even better. The Monkey Scientist told me he liked it even better than Remy's!
The only change I'd make? I'd throw a whole bunch of goat cheese on top! (Definitely doing that with the leftovers!)
from Jenna of EatLiveRun on PBS Blog
3 large tomatoes, diced
2 zucchini, sliced and halved
2 summer squashes, sliced and halved
1 red bell pepper, chopped (I used a yellow bell pepper)
1 small eggplant, chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil, minced
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Once hot, add the bell pepper, zucchini, and summer squash and saute for about 6-8 minutes until just tender.
2. Add the eggplant and tomatoes and continue cooking for another 15-20 minutes until the mixture is thick and stew-like.
3. Add half the basil followed by salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir well, adding more seasoning if you desire.
4. Serve ratatouille with additional fresh basil (and/or goat cheese!) and crusty bread for dipping.