No, I am not talking about the award-winning animation picture by Pixar.
But being inspired by the movie, I had developed a curiosity on the traditional dish from the French Provence. Then early this year, I tasted a most sumptuous Ratatouille dish at my friend's house - she didn't cook, she ordered it. :p Guess that further prompted me to want to find out about this dish.. and also tried cooking it myself!
The Internet is full of recipes on Ratatouille. But they are more or less similar.. some has more steps then others.. Basically it's a vegetable dish made of main ingredients like tomatoes, egg plants, zucchinis, onions, peppers, and flavoured by herbs. I chose a simple-looking recipe.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
- 1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
- 1 small eggplant, cubed
- 2 green bell peppers, coarsely chopped
- 4 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped, or 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes
- 3 to 4 small zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 1 teaspoon dried leaf basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried leaf thyme
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
PREPARATION:In a 4-quart Dutch oven or saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onions and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add eggplant; stir until coated with oil. Add peppers; stir to combine. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep vegetables from sticking.Add tomatoes, zucchini, and herbs; mix well. Cover and cook over low heat about 15 minutes, or until eggplant is tender but not too soft.
Serves 4.I had printed out this recipe for weeks and put it right in front of my printer to remind myself to get to it soon. Then finally, yesterday I managed to buy all the ingredients from supermarket so that I would cook it tonight.
Actually there were only two main steps to making a Ratatouille - cutting and frying/stirring. It's that simple.
So after cutting (which I think I cut a little too small), I just put them into the frying pans in the order according to the recipe. However, there was a tiny `problem'. The recipe did not state how to season the dish, as in make it salty. So I quickly did some check-up on the Net and found some other recipes that say besides adding salt to taste, you can also add vegetable/chicken stock. I also read some recipes have tomato paste as an ingredient.. Since I had some in the fridge, I decided to add in as well to make the flavour as well as the colour more palatable.
After close to 45 minutes of cooking, it is done!
Well, I think for the first time making it, it's not bad though I am not totally satisfied with the taste, and definitely a far cry from the Ratatouille I had at my friend's place. But again I'm sure their recipe is different. What I like about this dish is that it feels so healthy eating it.. For the next time, will do more research and probably modify the recipe a bit.
Oh, I saw some pix of Ratatouille on the Net that looked awesome. Here is one.