Tuesday, October 02, 2007

La Ratatouille

Cooking School: Ratatouille Provençal

Ratatouille (06) by MeetaK


As the much talked about new Pixar movie Ratatouille (Rat-a-too-ee) finally opens here in Germany officially tomorrow, we were able to be a part of the sneak preview shown on Sunday. I had ordered tickets weeks in advance and we were lucky enough to be a part of a few who got to watch it prior to it's opening.

I know we are late! I am sure half of the world has already seen it. But we had to wait until it was translated into German you see. This was Soeren's second real movie theater movie. It's such a pleasure to watch him getting all excited. I too became a kid and shared his enthusiasm and anticipation for the film.


To celebrate the grand event I made some original ratatouille. Ratatouille is a luxurious, rich and flavorful. The dish is a traditional French dish originating from the Provence region. Spiced with aromatic herbs cooking this dish leaves the aroma lingering all throughout the house. However, one is often served this great nutritious dish swimming in a liquidy bath with over-cooked vegetables.

It's not surprising therefore that many people have come to believe that ratatouille is some kind of a soup!

The name is comprised of two components:
  • rata is slang from the French Army meaning "chunky stew"
  • touiller, "to stir"
Think of ratatouille as is more of a concept dish than a specific recipe. It can take on a number of forms and is open to interpretation and experimentation. Let your tastes and preferences inspire you to create your own signature version of ratatouille!

The basic components that define the ratatouille are:
  • tomatoes (the main ingredient)
  • zucchini
  • eggplant
  • garlic
  • onions
  • herbs
These ingredients are traditionally sauteed in olive oil and can be served over rice or potatoes, preferably with a crusty French bread.

When preparing ratatouille keep in mind that the order of cooking is important, so keep the vegetables separate when preparing them. If cooking it for the first time, eat it hot as the main course; then have it again later as a cold hors-d'oeuvre. In the summer time, it's great as a cold main-course dish. It keeps for several days in the refrigerator.

Enjoy with a nice glass of red wine.




Ingredients
Printable version here.

Ratatouille (03) by MeetaK


4 Zucchini - cubed
2 Aubergines - cubed
4 ripe Tomatoes - seeds removed and cut into small pieces
3 small green peppers - cut into bite size squares
1 medium red pepper - cut into bite size squares
1 medium to large onion - sliced
2 cloves Garlic - finely chopped
Flat Parsley - chopped
Basil - chopped
Salt
Pepper from the mill
Olive oil


Method

In a frying pan, sauté the onion, garlic and peppers in olive oil over a brisk heat, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper as you go along. When the peppers are 3/4 cooked - they should be nice and crunchy - remove from pan and keep warm.

Sauté the aubergines until they are cooked through and nice and golden. Set aside with the peppers. Sauté the zucchini, adding the tomatoes and parsley as they start to become golden, and cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes. Return the peppers and aubergines to the pan, mix all the vegetables thoroughly. Add the basil.

If required, add a little water and then reduce. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish parsley and basil leaves.


Verdict

Ratatouille (02) by MeetaK


Aromatic, creamy and full of flavor. We served it with some lovely rustic French baguette as in our opinion everything else simply takes away from the full bodied flavor of the ratatouille. Each forkful of exquisite vegetables was a pure delight.

Hope you enjoy it!

Find out more about the Cooking School series.

For more great ratatouille recipes, I'd like to recommend:
Ratatouille Tart with Warm Goat Cheese - What's For Lunch, Honey?
Dad's Ratatouille Recipe - Simply Recipes
Ratatouille Wanna-Be - Kalyn's Kitchen
Ratatouile Bruchetta - Avenue Food
Ratatouille with Cochiglie Rigate - Saffron Trail
Indian Inspired Ratatouille - Mahanandi
Oven Roasted Ratatouille - Confessions of a Cardamon Addict


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24 comments :

  1. Thank you, Meeta! We saw the movie in August, and really enjoyed it. I'm tempted to try making ratatouille their way - with thin overlapping slices, as it looked so elegant:)

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  2. Ratatouille looks good...we enjoyed the movie too ..and your new header looks very good...

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  3. I have enjoyed Ratatouille with couscous a lot in France (which seemed to be the standard vegetarian dish served at all dinner to us!). Your version looks different tho'... is it the way you have chopped the veges or something else!

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  4. I still haven't made ratatouille yet, but yours looks so comforting and warm, perfect for the recently arrived chilly evenings.

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  5. Yay, I loved the movie and I'm loving the revival of this great dish!

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  6. Delicious Ratatouille. I love it. I can eat them just with slices of french bread. My daughter saw the movie with her friends and she loved it.

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  7. Forgot to mention. The picture of your dish look beautiful as ever. It is so clear. I can never take photos like you. Well that is what i say some have the gift and others don't.

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  8. You've decided me what to take for this weekend! We'll be staying in a rustic cabin in the woods with younger son vegetarian!
    I remember going with Gorn to preview star wars before we took our boys! Taking young ones to really good movies is totally awesome! Ratatouille is sure one of those movies!

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  9. That movie was released forever ago here in the US, but I have still not seen it :( We don't get to the theater very often, but I will be watching it when it comes to the video store! Your version of ratatouille looks amazing!

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  10. Love it! And I totally agree that a simple bread like baguette is what enhances the flavors of ratatouille.

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  11. now, i'm thinking, that will be great on a pizza with some gruyere or fontina.

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  12. This will go so well with roti or better, naan ;)

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  13. I don't know how I missed all the desserts Meeta, they look yummylicious. As does ratatouille!

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  14. I loved watching Ratatouille!!! I eevn went to this place to eat it but didnt like it much...will try ur recipe...thanks!

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  15. Meeta, I haven't seen this movie... Must see it now!

    Your dish is excellent! I love all the photos, too.

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  16. You're not the last to see the movie -- I am! Still haven't seen it, but it's on the list. I've made lots of ratatouille this summer, though. I never get tired of it and find lots of ways to use it -- a favorite is as a filling for omelets.

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  17. this is actually simple!, make it for sure, thx for the recipe and info

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  18. :-) This Sunday we made a few kilos of ratatouille that go into the freezer. Added to the other boxes of ratatouille we made earlier on. Love this dish and eat it all year round. And it tastes so much better after re-heating.

    isis

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  19. AHHH! The pleasures of Ratatouille. Thanks everyone for your thoughts and ideas on this recipe. For those of you who have not seen the movie please do and then come back home and cook some lovely ratatouille to soothe you! Hugs to you!

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  20. I ahven't tried this dish yet, but your recipe sounds good...and you changed your header!! looks good:)

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  21. I took my boys to Ratatouille, but I made them watch the original version (luckily they are old enough to read the subtitles in Dutch). Like Pille I was tempted to make it the movie way... haven't done it yet. You made me remember!

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  22. Hi Meeta...I am a new blogger....your blog is beautiful...and the photographs (food and life) make it more special.....I have added your blog in my favourite blogs section on my blog...thank you :)

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  23. Hey Meeta,
    thanks for the beautiful pictures and explanation! I love ratatouille and similar vegetable dishes. I recently made something similar that I called 'Martatouille' (you can see it on my blog if you like). It has some different veggies in it, so I guess technically it's not a ratatouille, but the concept is similar.. I wonder how strict the definition is. :)

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  24. great animation movie, more advice contained. Good.. good..

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Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

Hugs
Meeta