I tend to be a smiley faced, congenial person and thus it comes as no surprise that I am a sucker for children’s cartoons. Watched many a bugs bunny in my life, but in truth the only ones that matter are the movies. First memories of the Lion King are falling asleep at the Broadway Theatre in Saskatoon, and since I missed it my mom bought me the book so I could read it on one of the many family road trips. Still have it taped (thats VHS baby) off CBC in my parents basement. Then there was Space Jam for my 8th (?) birthday, and Toy Story oh, oh Toy Story my first true movie love.
Now it seems that they crank out a new children’s movie every couple months with a whole list of failures in my mind. However when you mix cooking, a mouse, the French, and a red-headed gangly oaf, you have a makings of something genius. Hence ratatouille snuggled up under my skin and since I had never heard of the food I was smitten. Over 4 years in the making I was not doing this dish in any old way. No, no tomato sauce eggplant stew was to be made, I was going for something fresh, beautiful and tasty. Hence I read ingredients and came up with an idea.
Fresh Ratatouille (this was inspired by many a recipe but as most things I do I just made it up)
- 1/2 large eggplant (aubergine)
- 1/2 zucchini (courgette)
- 1 red pepper
- 1 spanish onion
- 3 ripe tomatos (any variety just beautifully red and juicy)
- 1/2 cup parmesan, grated (I used Grana Padano actually)
- 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, grated (Any nicely melting cheese would be good)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
Cut everything into thin, round slices.
Heat a couple tbsps of oil in a pan and add garlic, saute for 3 minutes. Place a few eggplant rounds into pan and cook until softened, a few minutes depending on oil and how hot the pan is, remove cooked pieces and repeat until all the eggplant is cooked.
Preheat oven to 180
Lay eggplant on an oiled ovenproof dish. Grate parmesan over top, layer zucchini on top of eggplant, more parmesan, onion, parmesan, pepper, parmesan, tomato, and cheddar on top. Season throughout with salt and pepper.
Bake for 40 minutes, until cheese is browned. If cheese doesn’t brown, turn on the broiler/grill.
Cool for 5 minutes and demolish. Mmm… tastes like summer
Some nice fresh herbs would be a nice addition, such as: coriander, parsley, basil, or oregano.