In honor of Bastille Day I decided to make something French. My experience with french food is limited, despite having visited Paris a year or so ago. That city is ridiculously expensive so we ate a lot of pizza, salad, croissants and croque monsieur’s. We splurged one night and I had some crazy prawn dish and escargot but the absolute best thing we had there was a nutella crepe. I will never forget that crepe. Oh and I had an egg mcmuffin one morning from Mickey D’s that was actually really good. They use a soft-boiled egg! I think I am going to finally update the travel eats page so you will likely see some photos of the aforementioned up soon. Anyways this is my first ratatouille experience (which might be surprising given my love of herbs and fresh summer veggies) but I figured it’s a classic french dish so it’s gotta be good. And healthy. There are a million ratatouille recipes out there but I stumbled across Stephanie Izard’s July newsletter and decided to try hers, mostly because she said that Girl and the Goat is serving this next to their specials right now. I figured since I can’t afford to eat in her restaurant, might as well try making her stuff on my own. Her recipe called for tarragon, so that’s what I bought. And then I actually tasted/ smelled the tarragon and was completely weirded out. It smells like black licorice! Not my cup of tea. And I nixed the capers. And added egg plant. I’m sure her recipe turns out really well but that black licorice scent reminds me a Jagermeister and I just couldn’t go through with it. So I stuck with basil and thyme. And I’m glad I did. Happy (belated) Bastille Day and Bon Appetit!!!
2 cups zucchini, quartered lengthwise & sliced thinly
2 cups yellow squash, quartered lengthwise & sliced thinly
1 cup red onion, small dice
1 cup green bell pepper, small dice
¼ cup fennel, chopped
2 cups cherry tomato, halved
2 cups eggplant, chopped
1/8 cup garlic, sliced thinly
3 tbsp basil, chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme, just leaves
S + P to taste
I’ve never used eggplant but google said to do the following: sprinkle salt on it and set it to the side for 30 minutes. I chopped my other veggies while the salt worked on the eggplant and then rinsed it off and pressed the remaining water out with a towel.
Julia Child and Stephanie Izard say to sautee all of the vegetables separately in EVOO and S + P and keep them separate until they are cool so that’s what I did.
Fennel is kind of strange too by the way. This was another first-timer for me… and it is also rather licoricey smelling, but less potent than the tarragon. I didn’t get as much usable stuff out of the bulb as I thought I would but it was quite nice after the sautee treatment.
I’m not going to lie, that took a long time. If you are like me and find cooking relaxing, you will be REALLY chilled out right now. If you are like me and like to drink wine when you cook, there is a chance you will be smashed by now. I digress….
Let everything cool down and finally mix in your herbs.
Taste and add salt if needed. At this point you should be feeling really French and thin (from all of the calories you burned while preparing this) and possibly drunk. Ash and I ate this as a side to some roasted pork tenderloin but I think it would rule with some fish or chicken as well. Now eat something before you pass out