Skinner: You know something about rats, you know you do!
Linguini: You know who know, do, whacka-do. Ratta-tatta – Hey, why do they call it that?
Linguini: Ratatouille. It’s like a stew, right? Why do they call it that? If you’re gonna name a food, you should give it a name that sounds delicious. Ratatouille doesn’t sound delicious. It sounds like “rat” and “patootie.” Rat patootie! Which does not sound delicious.
from Disney/Pixar’s “Ratatouille“. quote via IMDB
Weirdly enough, my own “Little Chef” doesn’t like this movie as much as I do. Maybe it’s because it doesn’t feature enough animals, or maybe because he’d rather actually be in the kitchen helping me rather than watching people cook on TV. Who knows. The kid is crazy.
But lookit this.
If you’ve ever had ratatouille, you know it would take more than just that tiny little stack of perfectly-mandolined veggies to make a meal. It’s a stew. A bit heaping bowl or plate of delicious, warming, comforting stew. Like this:
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 medium red or orange bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 eggplant, stemmed and diced
- 2 small zucchini, diced
- 2-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 T vegetable broth or water
- 1 large tomato, diced
- salt and pepper to taste
- herbs of choice
In a large saucepan or a pot, saute onion over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring and scraping the pan as needed. Add bell pepper, eggplant, zucchini, garlic, and broth or water. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes, then season with salt and pepper.
I used 1 tsp of dried basil in this, but an Italian blend or Herbes de Provence also does well.
Of course, there are other variations to this dish. Often, the eggplant and zucchini will be sautéed separately, then a sauce is made with the onions, peppers, garlic, and tomatoes. The eggplant and zucchini might be layered in a casserole dish or a dutch oven, then covered in the sauce and baked or simmered on the stove. Whatever method you prefer, it will turn out delicious!
Leftovers? Well, you know we’ll make good use of those. Tune in next time (and sorry for the wait)!
In the meantime, enjoy this article I read recently from our local “alternative” newspaper: “Methinks I Don’t Protest Enough or Mama, I’m Running Away to Join the Circus Protest.”