I saw Ratatouille over the weekend. And, of course, loved it. Once I got past the idea of a rat cooking my meal, I was eager to attempt making ratatouille myself. According to courant.com, the Disney/Pixar film is the perfect movie for this time of year. "Not because it's a family-pleasing movie in summer. [But] because it's eggplant season. And tomato season. And zucchini/bell pepper/onion and garlic season."
Here's the recipe they provide; it serves 8 people.
# 1/2 pound eggplant
# 1/2 pound zucchini
# 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
# 6 to 7 tablespoons olive oil, divided
# 1/2 pound yellow onions, thinly sliced
# 1 to 2 green bell peppers, seeded and sliced
# 2 cloves garlic, minced
# Freshly ground pepper
# 2 large, firm ripe tomatoes
# 3 tablespoons minced flat leaf parsley
Peel the eggplant, cut off the stem and cut lengthwise into 3-by-1-by-3/8-inch slices. Trim off zucchini ends. Cut into slices about the same size as the eggplant. Place vegetable slices in a large non-aluminum bowl (glass or plastic are fine). Toss with 1 teaspoon salt; let stand 30 minutes. Drain and pat slices dry on paper towels.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook eggplant and zucchini slices in batches until lightly browned, about 1 minute per side, adding more olive oil as needed. Set vegetables aside.
Cook onions and bell peppers in the same skillet in 2 to 3 tablespoons oil until tender but not browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Peel tomatoes while the onions and pepper cook by dipping in boiling water, then in ice water to loosen the skins. Cut out tomato stems, cut tomatoes in half and squeeze out the seeds and excess juice. Slice tomato pulp into 3/8-inch strips. Lay tomato strips over the onion and peppers in the skillet. Season with salt and pepper.
Cover skillet; cook over medium-low heat until tomatoes begin to render juice, about 5 minutes. Uncover and baste tomatoes with cooking juices. Increase heat; boil until juice has almost evaporated, about 2 minutes.
Place 1/3 of the tomato/onion mixture in a heavy Dutch oven or heavy casserole. Sprinkle with 1tablespoon of parsley. Arrange half of the eggplant and zucchini on top. Top with the half of the remaining tomato mixture and parsley. Top with the remaining eggplant and zucchini slices. Add the remaining tomato mixture and parsley.
Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Uncover, tip casserole and baste with rendered juices. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Raise heat slightly. Cook, uncovered, until juices have evaporated, about 15 minutes. Serve hot, at room temperature or cold.