How many different ways can you serve ratatouille?
It turns out there are a bunch. I’ve been playing with a number of them for the past week. So last week, I was looking in my fridge, trying to figure out what to cook, and realized that I had everything necessary to make ratatouille. Which doesn’t seem very surprising until you realize how rare it is for me to have both zucchini and eggplant at the same time. I always have tomatoes and bell pepper, but not so much the other two. More surprising, I’ve never made ratatouille before. I haven’t seen the movie either.
Ratatouille is one of those deceptively simple dishes that is remarkably easy to mess up. Chop up garlic, onion, eggplant, zucchini, red bell peppers and tomatoes. Saute in olive oil – waiting a few minutes before adding the next vegetable. Add some herbs (basil and oregano in my case) and some white wine (cause why not). Simple right? Yes and no. First, make sure you are using a large enough frying pan. You will keep adding veggies and what seems like enough room when you just have onions and eggplant in there it will probably be overfull by the time you add the tomatoes. It cooks down, but not that much. Second. Cook the eggplant for awhile before adding anything. It is shockingly easy to misjudge eggplant’s level of done-ness. My eggplant was slightly underdone, when all the other veggies were perfect. I took the eggplant out and sauteed it longer, then re-added it to the dish. Which was annoying. Cook eggplant thoroughly!
Serving suggestion 1: Eat it as is. This is the obvious choice and the first one I went with. Whole wheat roll (home-made with peanut oil which worked far better than I thought it would), ratatouille, glass of wine. Simple and awesome.
Serving suggestion 2: Stick it in a crepe. I’m starting to believe that everything tastes that much more awesome in a crepe. If you don’t have your own, this is the recipe I use. Stick some ratatouille in a crepe with some grated fontina cheese (works excellently with eggplant). Bake at 350 for 10-20 minutes, until the cheese melts. Serve and eat. Feel very very happy.
Serving suggestion 3: Eat it in a sandwich. Now, too be fair this is fairly similar to suggestion 1, only with fontina cheese added to the mix. Or whatever kind of cheese makes you happy.
Serving suggestions 4: Eat it in a omelet. This I admit I have not tried (I ran out of ratatouille – the last of it went into my sandwich for work). But, I have seen recipes for this as well. This is really more of a brunch or dinner omelet, not a make-and-eat-right-before-work thing. Again, straightforward, just make an omelet, and fill with cheese and leftover ratatouille.