Sunday, July 3, 2011
Ratatouille... that delight-filled french veggie stew. What a great way to get those important servings of veggies in your tummy. The smell of sensual summer veggie roasting intoxication, wafting off the stove, and up your nose it goes!
The most important ingredient in a ratatouille, imho, is that you make homemade roasted red peppers to go in it. I know you can buy 'em in a jar, but they just don't compare.
It's easy to roast peppers, here's how:
Get your hands on some nice ripe red ones, deep red, not wimpy pale ones. Getting them in season from a farmer's market is pretty important. Hopefully you have a gas stove (if not I feel sorry for you and just oven roast or broil them). Turn on the flame and lay the peppers directly on it to slowly blacken them bit by bit. You must stay in the kitchen while doing this, otherwise it's unsafe. Once blackened mostly all over, pop them in a brown paper bag, seal and let them steam in their own sauna for a little while.
Once cooled down a bit, pull them out whole and gently scrape off the peel and remove seeds and pith. Leave in their natural state of pulled apart sections or slice. Soak in a nice bath (you always bath after a sauna, right?) of really top notch extra virgin olive oil & good sea salt (I use celtic). They will keep in the fridge for several days.
Mine kept long enough for me to use today to make ratatouille for a bbq. We have to take a dish and a story to go with it. My story will be about rats... But at least my ratatouille won't taste like 'em!
Basic ingredients for ratatouille are:
extra virgin olive oil
fresh garlic and basil
eggplant and tomatoes
zuchinni (I use a mixture of green and yellow and cut them into different shapes for each color just coz it looks good).
roasted peppers (red are best, but yellows are nice too)
and I added red onions and portabellos to mine today.
Hope you are having a lovely storybook dish of your own today...
I'm off to a barbie!!!