As good as the movie

23 Aug

I don’t claim to be anywhere near a good cook, but seeing as how the majority of my dinners have turned out edible, I consider my culinary endeavors thus far to be fairly successful. Of course I owe part of this to my dad, but I am slowly learning.

Tonight I wanted to use some more of the vegetables we bought at the farmers’ market on Saturday, so I scoured my cookbooks for a suitable recipe, and after some searching, I found one in (where else?) the veg bible.

Ratatouille!

I’d actually never had ratatouille before, and hadn’t heard of it until the adorable movie came out a few years ago. I remember seeing it at the dining hall my freshman year in college, but my general rule at the dining hall (this was pre-veg) was to only stick to things I knew.

The recipe I used was actually called “Ratatouille Salad”, and I served it over rice pasta.

I think I might have gotten my blurry picture problem sort of solved. I was reading several people’s recaps of the blog photography session at the Healthy Living Summit, and one of the suggestions for point and shoot cameras was to put it on the ‘macro’ setting. I’ve been doing that lately when taking pictures of my food lately and I’ve found it helps. What a relief – I really thought there was something wrong with my camera.

This one is still kind of blurry, but I wanted a close up of the veggies.

Ratatouille Salad

This was in the description and I thought it might be helpful: “for a heartier salad, toss in cooked rice, white beans, or the past of your choice and drizzle with a little more olive oil. A grating of Parmesan or ricotta salata is a welcome addition.”

  • 1 medium or 2 small eggplants (about 8 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium zucchini, roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 medium tomato, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley leaves for garnish
  1. Trim and peel the eggplant and cut it into 1-inch cubes. (If the eggplant is large, soft, or especially seedy, sprinkle the cubes with salt, put them in a colander, and let them sit for at least 30 minutes, preferably 60. Rinse, drain, and pat dry.)
  2. Put 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the eggplant, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels.
  3. Put the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the pan and add the zucchini. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just starting to wilt, about 2 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook and stir for another minute or two, until soft. Add the tomato and thyme and cook for another minute, until the tomato just starts to wilt and release its juice. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Put the eggplant in a salad bowl and add the vegetables and dressing from the pan. Stir to combine. Cool to room temperature, taste and adjust the seasoning, garnish, and serve. (Or prepare the salad to this point, cover, and refrigerate for up to 2 days; garnish just before serving either cold or at room temperature.)

In other news, the latest issue of VegNews arrived in my mailbox this afternoon. Their Twitter has been buzzing about this “Food” issue for awhile now, and I was so anxious to receive mine. Of course I’ve already read it through once and am currently on my second read-through to catch things I might have missed. Yes, I do this with almost every magazine. I was especially happy to find Ohio featured on page 24.

I know that’s impossible to read, so this is what it says:

“With a ballot initiative already in the signature-gathering stage of development, the Humane Society of the United States, Mercy For Animals, and Farm Sanctuary reached an agreement with Ohioans for Humane Farms, agriculture industry leaders, and Ohio Governor Ted Strickland to enact standards of care for farm animals in the Buckeye State. The agreement, which has pre-empted the need for a ballot initiative, bans veal crates by 2017, outlaws new gestation crates and their use entirely after 15 years, and imposes a moratorium on new battery cage facilities. It also establishes humane slaughter standards and prohibits the transportation of downer cows for slaughter.”

Another reason to appreciate Ohio a little bit more. Although that’s not to say I don’t have my sights on other places to live once I’m on my own…

Tomorrow I’m seeing my oldest friend Melanie. She’s in town for a week in between an internship she had and going back to school, and we are going to do what we do best: bake. I’m hoping to try out another recipe from My Sweet Vegan, but whatever we decide to make, I’ll obviously be blogging about it!

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One Response to “As good as the movie”

  1. lisasfoods 08/24/2010 at 7:44 pm #

    I love ratatouille. It’s a dish my mom makes often for family events. Growing up I’d eat it as a side dish, but now I love to pour it over pasta, topped with some cheese.

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