One of the great pleasures in life has got to be vegetables cooked and seasoned properly. There’s something so wonderful about the fresh taste that nature has given to us in so many different flavors, shapes and colors. And cooking them properly is really easier than you think!
Many years ago I learned how to prepare a classical version of Ratatouille, it was simple and easy to cook. No bells, no whistles, no extra seasonings, no kitchen magic. Just fresh delicious vegetables cooked to perfection tasting as nature intended.
I will admit it had been too many years since I cooked this classical version of ratatouille, and I went back to do a little research on the dish. After finding many new versions on all the cooking sites with different herbs, seasonings, vinegar, sugar…….sigh.
You name it they had changed it up and recreated different versions. Now don’t get me wrong, I do love a little tweaking here and there and I’m sure they were all very tasty, but I wanted what I wanted so I turned to Julia Child and Jacques Pepin. And each one told me the same thing about seasonings. Salt, pepper, garlic and olive oil. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.
Julia and Jacques have long been the authorities I turn to when I have questions about authenticity and they didn’t let me down! Of course, I did go back to my roots and as Mama Jennette had taught me I used crushed tomatoes instead of fresh, but that’s a very slight adjustment and no flavors were harmed in the process.
I did promise you Ratatouille Two Ways and while I do love the richness of the classical version, this has taken its place as the Ratatouille of choice in my home. I did get a scolding from a Ratatouille Master for including the vegetables I did in this dish, but as I explained to her this was my Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable Version of Ratatouille not the classic.
One message I always try to deliver in my classes is nothing is etched in stone and adjustments can be made to just about any dish to make it something that you’ll enjoy eating time and time again. Don’t ever feel trapped by recipes, they’re simply guidelines.
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