Happy Mofo Day 2! Mondays are one of my fun nights because I don't teach, and so I have time for more special dinners. Every year, about this time, I feel a seasonal obligation to make some ratatouille. I know there are easy ratatouille recipes, where you can just chop up some peppers and eggplants and throw it all in a pot - but I like to take on a proper project.
This year, I had two brilliant ideas that really enhanced our ratatouille experience. First of all, I decided to make a double batch, in my big cast iron pan ... so that we could have half left over. Good Thinking, Amey!
This recipe actually bakes for about 3.5 hours... but you don't actually have to do anything during that time - just surf around on the internet and comment on other MoFo blogs! That said, even the prep can take a while. This year I figured out a way to really speed up the veggie arrangement process. You are supposed to arrange them like this: yellow squash - green squash - eggplant - tomato (repeat). So! My second brilliant realization was when I realized that you could basically collate them all on the cutting board first! I would set out about 15-20 yellow squashes, stack on the green zukes, then the eggplants, and so on... until I had 20 bunches all arranged. Then they were super speedy to place in the pan.
Here it is after all the baking. I'll admit, I started a little later in the day than I should have. Somehow I remembered that it had to bake for 2 hours... not 3.5! So, we rushed the baking a little... had "firsts" set it back in the oven, and then had some slightly more cooked "seconds." It was good both times! And, happily, there is still half the pan left over for lunches!