Well, tonight's feast was no exception. I have been reading up on ratatouille lately. It's such a personal dish, and when made perfectly is more than the sum of its parts. I mean, c'mon, even Anton Ego liked ratatouille!
Here is the ratatouille cooking away on the stove. The key to a
good ratatouille is patience. Cooking the vegetables too long isn't an option...it's the half-done eggplant you need to watch out for! And now for the recipe. I hope that, like Proust and Anton, you think of one of the happiest moments of your childhood when you eat this dish! Most of the vegetables came from our garden, and the rest from our CSA box. Mmmmm...
Audi's Proustian Ratatouille
1 onion, sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 small fennel bulbs, sliced thin
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 Japanese eggplants, thinly sliced
2 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise, and cut into thin slices
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
4 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tbsp salt ground pepper to taste
2 tbsp. fresh oregano, finely chopped
2 tbsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1 fried egg, yolk runny
In a large skillet cook the onion, fennel, and garlic in 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil and heat it over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking. Add the eggplant and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes, or until the eggplant is softened. Stir in the zucchini and the bell pepper and cook the mixture over the moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 12 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the coriander, the salt, and pepper to taste and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the basil, oregano, and thyme and combine the mixture well. Fry egg in a separate pan and place over a serving of ratatouille.