This lovely creation is Thomas Keller's Ratatouille recipe, the "official recipe" for the movie Ratatouille. I've made it once or twice before, and we both remembered it quite fondly. I love that it is so beautiful, as well as so extremely delicious. The flavors are delicate and yet long-lasting... quite perfect. We enjoyed it with a side of rice and home-cooked shelling beans. It's a bit of a shame that it's so perfectly yummy, because it's not such an easy dish to prepare.
Well, it's not complicated... just time consuming. Between roasting the peppers and then slicing every thing into 1/16-inch-thick slices... you're already taking up a chunk of your day! Then there's the careful arranging... As per Mr. Keller's instructions, I began with a line down the middle of the skillet...
... then started rotating the slices (alternating veggies) from the middle outward.
Once assembled it's lovely and ready to pop in the oven - for two and half hours!! It's the slow cooking that really allows the gentle flavors to emerge and combine, but it also means that it requires some pre-planning. This time around, I jacked up the heat for the last 30 minutes or so to help evaporate some of the extra juices. It was so yummy -- as Mr. Vegan Eats & Treats said "Hours to prepare, Minutes to devour!" ha ha... sad, but true!
Our Sungold Cherry Tomatoes have been massively prolific this year, so I made the "Pesto Scrambled Tofu" from Vegan Brunch, which calls (mercifully!) for cherry tomatoes. I used more than the 1 cup called for, probably more like 1 1/2 or 2 cups, and it was great. Mr. Vegan Eats & Treats is usually a pesto-hater (boooooo!), but even he really loved this tasty dish.
The sauteed red onion adds a lovely element of sweetness to the earthy pesto and the bright acidity of the tomatoes. I actually used the pesto recipe from Healthy Hedonist, but with drastically reduced oil, because I know I love it. We had a pretty huge basil plant in the garden, so I just ripped that bad boy out, made a huge double batch of pesto, and froze the extra in ice cube trays. Now we can enjoy this dish again in the dark days of winter when the spirit needs a hit of summery basil.
Tonight's dinner was "Tomato Soup with Tarragon, Tomato, and Leek Bisque" from Real Food Daily. (Served with Tofurky Italian sundried tomato sausages and Broccoli). I hadn't ever made this recipe before, but it was really great. I love when a cookbook that I've had for a long time still has hidden gems in it to discover! I made a half-batch, which yielded about 4 servings. Obviously, I used fresh tomatoes from the garden instead of canned tomatoes. The tarragon and nutmeg in the soup are a lovely combination, and the soup has a light, almost citrusy tang to it. Very good, and definitely on the list to make again. It's amazing how many variations there are for good ol' tomato soup - and how different they all are!