Friday, November 12, 2010

VeganMoFo: Fancy Pants French Ratatouille

Fellow MoFo Travelers! We've made it to Europe! After planning my "Around the World in 30 Days" theme, I came to realize why the original movie was called "Around the World in 80 Days"... It's really, really hard to pick out only 30 countries to feature. Every day my list of cuisines to go back and explore later gets longer and longer. Case in point: Europe. So many countries, so many great cuisines. It was hard to pick! But pick I must, and so I settled on France and made some Ratatouille using a gently modified version of Thomas Keller's recipe.

Before Cooking
I've made this wonderful dish a couple of times in the past... It's positively gorgeous, and absolutely stunningly delicious... but man does it take a lot of work. Obviously, I could just throw it all in there, and that tastes good too... but sometimes it really feels good to do something with 100% care and beauty. First you lay out all the finely sliced veggies in perfect alternating order: green zucchini, eggplant, yellow zucchini, tomato; repeat... Embrace your inner zen and take your time. It is meditative and peaceful. You will feel the clear conscience of a job well done.

After cooking

Next you drizzle on some special herbs and a little olive oil, cover the pan, and bake it for a long time. Then you remove the covering, and bake it a while more. The long, slow baking results in such a tremendous result: all these veggies have pretty gentle flavors, and slow cooking allows them to gradually come into their own... and to harmonize with one another.

After all this peaceful assembly and patient slow cooking, I must admit that it is rather shocking how long it can take to assemble a dish like this... and how quickly it can be consumed! Sigh! A lesson in temporality!

You know I'm a loyal farmers market fan, but I must say that it feels extra wonderful to live in a place where I can still be buying local organic tomatoes and summer squash and eggplants in November... not to mention the strawberries I got for my breakfast. Thanks, farmers!

18 comments:

  1. I'd like to give you some sort of award for your skills in layering all those veggie slices.

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  2. That is soooooo pretty I cried a little bit.
    :)

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  3. That ratatouille is so so beautiful. It must have taken a lot of time to make. I'd be almost sad to eat something so pretty, but at least you can post the awesome pictures online! And I bet it tasted amazing.

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  4. That is amazingly beautiful. So colorful. I would love to just look at it (then devour it of course).

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  5. That ratatouille is stunning, Amey. Wow.

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  6. That is one gorgeous ratatouille! It sounds so tasty, too! :)

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  7. Wow, Amey, that is absolutely beautiful.

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  8. here i go back to the store for more depends! thanks, amey!

    and really, i don't think i have the skills to layer like that. i mean, where did you even start? the middle?

    crazy pretty. i'd also hate to be the first person to pick that apart... it's too pretty to eat, really.

    thank you for spending your morning with me! i ate all those cookies and then remembered i was gonna take a picture to blog about today, now my MOFO if MUCKED UP!

    xo
    kittee

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  9. At first I thought this was a picture of a big lollypop. I've never seen ratatouille this beautiful! This would make an impression for guests for sure.

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  10. WOW! That is so beautiful. It's like the prettiest apple tart, but made of wonderful veggies! I am so so so impressed with your work and patience. Amazing!

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  11. whoah all those colors! so beautiful!

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  12. Oh my heavens, that really is gorgeous!! Well done you!

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  13. Never seen anything like this! Cool!

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  14. OMG, Amey, that looks so gorgeous!!!

    And I just noticed the new blog header! You are so artistic and talented!!!!

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  15. That is absolutely amazing, Amey! I don't think I could get it that neat and perfect!

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  16. Anonymous12:13 PM

    This may be one of the most gorgeous veggie dishes ever created! Terrific photography, too. I will continue my stir-fry ratatouille, but it is great to know someone who has the stamina and soul to produce this dish. Go Amey! - Maria G

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  17. That is the most beautiful layering I've ever seen!

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