I, dear readers, like many other home cooks, completely idolize Julia Child. I mean, what American cook wouldn't want to be her?! Learning to cook in France, bringing a new cuisine to home cooks in America, the whole shebang - she's pretty much just the best.
Not surprisingly, I, like many other food bloggers, went to see Julie & Julia, the recent film about a blogger who worked her way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking - all in one year. In fact, every time the trailer for this film would come on the television, my cute hubby would say, "Wow, that is so you. We've got to see that!"
Well, the movie was quite nice - even the hubs enjoyed it. So when we ended up with a bunch of random veggies in the fridge (thanks to our wonderful CSA farm), I thought it was a great idea to use them up by making a classic French-Provençal dish: ratatouille. And of course, whose recipe would I use but Julia's!?
Well, I have to admit that Julia was right when she said that ratatouille "is not one of the quickest dishes to make." Although a bit time-intensive, the techniques are not difficult, and the results completely justify the effort. It's hard to imagine a dish that is this simple in its seasonings and ingredients, and yet this rich in its layers and layers of flavor.
Without further ado, let me give you the recipe, in the words of Julia Child herself. . .
Julia Child's Ratatouille
from Mastering the Art of French Cooking
1 pound eggplant
1 pound zucchini
A 3-quart, porcelain or stainless-steel mixing bowl
1 teaspoon salt
A 10- to 12-inch enameled skillet
4 tablespoons olive oil, more if needed
1/2 pound (about 1 1/2 cups) thinly sliced yellow onions
2 (about 1 cup) sliced green bell peppers
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil, if necessary
2 cloves mashed garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound firm, ripe, red tomatoes, peeled, seeded and juiced (makes 1 1/2 cups pulp)
Salt and pepper
A 2 1/2 quart fireproof casserole about 2 1/2 inches deep
3 tablespoons minced parsley
Salt and pepper