Monday, July 26, 2010

Gordon Ramsay's Ratatouille

My children love Ratatouille! Yes, I mean the movie. Alex especially loves watching the kitchen scenes. He's a little chef in the making. Except when he remembers that he wants to be a doctor. (He want to "fix sick babies' brains.") We recently had a discussion about our backyard garden and all the veggies that we were growing. Somehow the conversation turned to the fact that he wants to be a doctor and when he gets older (he's not even five yet) he won't have a garden at his home. I asked him why not. "Mom, I'm going to be a doctor, not a cooking doctor!" I hope I was able to convince him that even if you're not a chef, it doesn't mean you're not allowed to grow your own food. He loves farmers markets, meat markets, Whole Foods, and yes, gasp, even Giant Eagle. I hope he keeps that love of food into his adult life.

So, in honor of their love of a little rat who knows how to cook, I made the boys Ratatouille, which they were quick to point out looked nothing like the movie version. Eh. Deal with it.

Red onion, eggplant, red pepper, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, basil, thyme, garlic, canned diced tomatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Coarsely chop the onion.
Quickly chop the eggplant and pray it doesn't get brown before you get it in the pot.

Chop the pepper and watch your fingernails turn red.
Chop the zucchini.
Halve the cherry tomatoes.
Literally throw everything except the zucchini and tomatoes into a hot pan with some olive oil. Cook just until the veggies start to soften slightly.
Add the zucchini and cook until they, too, just start to soften.

Stir in the canned tomatoes.

Add the cherry tomatoes and cook just until everything is soft and fragrant. The cherry tomatoes just start to break down. At this point your kitchen will be filled with the wonderous aroma of all that is good. (Season with salt and pepper to taste.)

Chop some fresh basil and scatter over the top.
Because my family wouldn't be my family without eating meat of some sort -- I pan fried some cod fillets and placed it on top of the Ratatouille.

It was a perfect match. Nothing over-powered anything else.
This is one of my favorite dishes so far from Fast Food. I think this is the sort of dish Ramsay really meant when he said "anyone can cook" (funny -- that's a line right out of the movie, too -- wonder who took it from who?) The dish is hearty, yet so fresh you don't mind eating it on a hot summer day. It's a great harvest dish (the majority, if not all, of the ingredients can be grown in your own backyard. It's a great "clean out your fridge" sort of dish, and it's quick enough to make on any night of the week.
How long? The Ratatouille took about 35 minutes.

"Ratatouille ... Done"

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Marz said...

I know this is a very old post but I love the recipe you've posted :) It is so detailed. You know if you soak the eggplant into salty water after you cut it not only it won't get brown but also the bitterness will go away (in case there's any). I hope you don't mind my advice and my English :) Regards from Sweden!

Anonymous said...

I just made this dish for my lunch tomorrow and it was very simple to make.thanks for posting this.holler from Europe!

Unknown said...

This is really gd advice. With lotsa thanks from Singapore :-)

La Fabulista said...

This is really gd advice. With lotsa thanks from Singapore :-)