Because it was so mild this year, our crops never did well. In fact, we only picked up three eggplants this season.
So when two of the three were picked over the weekend, I was bound and determined to make something “special” with them. I had even dreamt of slicing them up, dredging them in tempura, flash-frying them, then topping them with some bay scallops marinated in yuzu, roe and mayonnaise, and then finishing them with a little micro cilantro.
Ummm…. So that didn’t happen.
As with our usual routine, the day slipped by, and at about 1:30 PM, I realized lunch still needed to be on the table before a 3:00 PM conference call. So what does one do with a garden basket of eggplants, tomatoes and zucchini?
Ratatouille, that’s what. At 1:40 PM, a tweet went out to solicit recipes. I gave it two minutes. Then I decided to wing it. After all, it’s just roasted summer vegetables simmered in tomato sauce, right?
I can do this.
In an hour.
At 1:50 PM, I started boiling water to blanch tomatoes. In a sauté pan went some diced onions. In the oven went some diced eggplant and zucchini. Into the pan of onions: minced garlic. And some diced little chilies for heat. Then tomatoes, peeled and seeded. When the zucchini and eggplant were sufficiently roasted, those went into the pan, too. Luckily, I had pork chops marinating in leftover balsamic vinaigrette in the fridge. That was supposed to be dinner, but it got promoted to lunch. A quick sear, then finish in the oven (which was already hot due to the roasted vegetables). A quick trip to the herb garden for some fresh thyme and basil leaves, and lunch was on the table at 2:55 PM. After the quickest RGB photo session on record, I was on the call by 3:02 PM.
What do you serve with your ratatouille?