I learned to make Ratatouille at the social enterprise, and wrote about it as one of my Word of the Week some time back. In the restaurant, we made them by tens of kilos at one go. But a few days ago, I was inspired by Wendy, a very talented cook and food blogger, who posted the most beautiful ratatouille dish I've seen. You really should check out her blog here. Caution: her food pics are stunning and will make you drool shamelessly. Wendy could open a restaurant and have long lines outside her door anytime but she has chosen a higher calling to cook only for her family and friends.
An opportunity popped up today as I was going to have lunch with my girlfriends, one of whom makes it a habit to eat only vegetables every Thursday. We decided on an impromptu picnic at the park and I thought a ratatouille would be perfect for this occasion.
Again, it's one of those you-cant-go-wrong recipes - one green zucchini, one yellow zucchini, one eggplant, a couple of roma tomatotes, a few sprigs of thyme, EVOO, sea salt, black pepper. I used so little salt in this dish that I was afraid it might taste bland, but it actually turned out super yummilicious! Just be sure to use fresh and good quality ingredients. That bottle of EVOO that you think is too expensive is actually worth it!
I made my own sauce but you can get ready-made ones from the stores and they are perfectly fine. I checked Ragu and Barilla - these 2 brands have no chemicals or preservatives, just pure vegetables. All you need to do is heat them to a simmer, then place them at the bottom of a baking dish.
Slice the vegetables in equal thickness, mix with salt, pepper and EVOO, saute each type of vegetables separately, then place them on top of the sauce and bake in the oven at 180C for 20 minutes.
I added a few sprigs of thyme before baking, and was rewarded for this small bit of effort with an awesome aroma later.
|A dear sister-in-Christ|
Good friends + good food + in a park + 25 degrees C + no crowd = Awesome with a capital A. A great day in the office.